Marketing From A Woman's Point of View

Category — Traffic and PageRank

Social Bookmarking For Backlinks

A common misconception of newcomers to social bookmarking is that all posts you bookmark receive a backlink to the original source.  While the link used on a bookmarking site may provide traffic it does not necessarily mean that the link is a “DoFollow” link providing any SEO benefit to the source.

To receive the SEO benefit along with the traffic you must use social bookmarking sites that have a DoFollow policy.

If you’re not familiar with how social bookmarking works, check out the series I posted on Social Bookmarking 101: What Is It and How Does It Work.  The basic idea behind social bookmarking is the ability to store, index and search all of your favorite articles you’ve found while searching the web.

Like any new skill you’re learning when marketing with social media, once you get the basics down you can begin learning learning new ways to use them to benefit yourself.  If you are a blog owner one of your biggest tasks is building quality backlinks to your blog to improve your search engine ranking.

Most social bookmarking networks will require you to register, then once you have, you are able to submit links to those networks. If you are selective about using DoFollow bookmarking networks then those links will be DoFollow links back to your site.

Spend some time creating profiles on DoFollow social bookmarking sites.  What I would suggest is creating a short template to save time.  Since some of the networks will allow backlinks from your profile description, use your keywords as your anchor text.  For instance, if you are aiming to have your site ranked for content marketing, in your profile description word it so you are hotlinking your keyword phrase “content marketing” and not just your blog title.  I chose several of my most popular articles to link back to when writing my descriptions.

You might want to even create two templates…one html ready with your links and one without.  Not all networks will allow links from your profile and some will require you to use your own html tags. (“a href”).  So, be prepared and make it easier for yourself.

Once you have your profiles created remember to now use those sites to begin submitting your articles and reap the benefits of your work.  Do keep in mind that some networks do not take kindly when you link ONLY to your own site, so be kind and remember to bookmark other interesting articles from other sites.

The best list of DoFollow social bookmarking sites I have found was put together on DoFollow.Info where you can also find some other great resources on DoFollow techniques.  This list give descriptions of the networks and where you will find the DoFollow linking.  I suggest bookmarking this page because you may not make it through all of the sites in one sitting.

Good luck in your social bookmarking for backlinks strategy.  If you have any other tips, comments or questions please share them below.  All your feedback is appreciated and we learn from one another.

To Your Success,

April 26, 2010   10 Comments

7 Cross Promotion Ideas To Boost Traffic and Sales

Promoting your online business almost always depends on others. When just starting out, family and friends get the ball rolling and once you have a few customers you depend on their word of mouth. Cross promotion uses word of mouth and partner visibility to boost your sales, credibility and brand.

In a nutshell, cross promotional marketing is working with other businesses both large and small to draw attention to your products or services.

Cross promotion is different from affiliate marketing in that it is an agreement that is mutually beneficial to both people in the same way. With affiliate marketing, the affiliate gets a percentage of the pie based on an agreed upon amount. With cross promotion, both partners are looking to receive the same amount of compensation.

Why Cross Promote?

The easy answer here is that you want to increase traffic to your website or blog, establish yourself as an authority, and to increase sales. That is the goal of business, after all.

Another reason is to increase your visibility among your business peers. When you partner with a bigger more well known business or blogger (Mike Stelzner calls them Firestarters), you increase your credibility. Keep in mind what you have to offer.  The top marketers, influencers and large businesses won’t waste much time with someone who doesn’t bring something valuable to the table.

Types of Cross Promotion

So what does cross promotion look like? The agreement between similar businesses to help one another in their advertising and promo forms a network with new business people and also a way to increase profits for both of you.

Here are a few ideas for cross promotion to get the ball rolling:

1.  Advertisement: Banner or Link Exchange

You can post advertisement links or banners on each other’s sites. Look for people or businesses that share similarities with yours or are at least interesting to each other’s site visitors. For instance, if you sell party supplies, partnering with a party planner makes good business sense. Your goal is to be relevant.

If you don’t have a banner, you can get one pretty cheap at $20 Banners.  Depending on what design you choose, they really do start at just$20.  This gives customers a chance to check you out in a glance so be creative.

Don’t use those free or cheap link exchange services!  You want to build relationships with other site owners and you should be careful about the credibility of those other sites.  Don’t hook yourself up into a “bad neighborhood”

2. Guest Blogging

Write website content and blog for each other. This is something that does take a little bit of your time but the rewards are great.  By contributing to a blog in your same niche you’re establishing yourself as an expert in that field as well as building links back to your site.

Most website owners allow 1 or 2 “do follow” links within the text and a bio with links  so the visitors can click on it for more information.

Share each other’s audiences and tap into one another’s insight.  It’s a win for everyone if done well.

3.  Link It Up

When you are active in the blogging community you are consistently reading other articles and are aware of the topics.  Keep those in mind when you are writing your own articles and link back to them.

Rather than leaving a long comment on a blog post, create an article around it and link back to their post.  You’ll add content to your own blog and you’ll be offering a little link love at the same time.

4.  Comment Club

Another smart idea is to form a group of bloggers in your niche that will agree to leave comments on each other’s articles.  Honestly, I think this should be something we are all reciprocating without forming a club, but it may give us the motivation to kick it up a notch.

It’s like having an exercise partner.  You both want to get fit, but sometimes without that accountability of knowing someone is waiting on you it’s way to easy to put it off.  Having a group of commenters will keep you accountable and actively involved.

5.  Blog or Product Reviews

You see the big guys promoting one another all the time.  You always know when there is a new marketing or affilate product launch coming up when you see the same information coming from a group of people.  They have their own clubs they have created, so you know it works to create a mass viral effect.

You see John Chow, Jeremy Schoemaker, Yaro Starak & Zac Johnson cross promote.  Or, Michael Stelzner, Mari Smith, Denise Wakeman and Chris Garret together.  Recently we’ve seen Brian Clark, Chris Brogan and Sonia Simone form their alliances.  They all understand this concept.

6.  Blog Rolls

Blog Rolls provide your readers and Google a way of figuring out what you’re all about by who you read and look up to.

Much like link exchanges, but blog rolls have a more prominent place than an advertising text link and show your visitors that you recommend this other person rather than took money from them to gain that spot.

7.  Bookmarking Buddies

Digg, Delicious and StumbleUpon are great ways to get traffic to your site…IF they are being bookmarked.  Without an active base of friends or subscribers it’s nearly impossible to make it to the front page of a bookmarking site.  There are certain guidelines you must follow in bookmarking etiquette to keep from looking spammy, so don’t go overboard.

StumbleUpon and Digg both offer “do follow” links to your post, I believe.  Delicious doesn’t have “do follow”, but they still provide traffic.  I use Delicious to bookmark those sites I want to have on hand as a reference because it’s simple.

For a better understanding of how it all works, I have an earlier series of articles I’d recommend called Bookmarking 101.

I’m sure there are plenty of other creative ways to cross promote that I may have missed. What have you found to work well?  What new ways can you think of to share here?  Leave your comments below to get some feedback.

To Your Success,

P.S. ~~> I am always on the lookout for ways to cross promote and help one another.  If you’d like to band together with me and others in my niche, drop me a line with your idea and we can discuss the opportunities!  You can use my Contact form or direct email: coree[at]marketlikeachick[dot] com.

April 7, 2010   13 Comments

6 Tips To Writing Publicity Friendly Content

Your blog is craving attention and journalists are starving for new useful information to share with the public.   Top quality content attracts publicity, recognition and traffic.  Writing content that attracts journalists and backlinks from other bloggers takes a little know how but if you know how to write attention grabbing content for your readers, you’re halfway there.

Here are a few tips and strategies to write Publicity Friendly Content.

1.  Write Compelling Headlines

An average site visitor will spend 30 seconds checking out your article to decide if it’s worth their time to continue.  Start with a compelling headline that tells your reader what you’ll be talking about and how it can answer their needs.  Always remember to use “WIIFM” mentality.  What are you offering your readers?  Figure out a need and meet it.

One secret I learned for coming up with great headlines was to track what gets my attention.  Create a “swipe file”, which is a list of all the headlines in your email inbox that grab your attention.  Swipe and file those headlines as a resource to return to for ideas.

Without a doubt, you MUST do a little keyword research when creating your headlines.

You do this for a number of reasons but the most important one is to learn the language of your audience.  What keyword phrases are they using to find the content they need?  The old sales term comes to mind “mirror and match”.  This means you practice being and speaking just like that person you are researching so there is a better – clearer – means of communication that they can relate to.  Speak their language.

Use the keywords and phrases in your headlines for a better search engine results, but don’t sound like you just pulled your headline from a dictionary.  Be human and speak like you normally would…just incorporate the keywords into your sentence.

Erika Napoletano just wrote an awesome post over on Copyblogger that explains Copywriting 3.0.  She has some great tips that add to this post on implementing SEO, real time search, article marketing and also suggests creating mobile versions of your website as trends lean that way.

A few resources for writing great headlines:

  • How To Write Magnetic Headlines – Copyblogger
  • A Top Headline Writing Trick Copywriting Gurus Love – Remarkablogger
  • 31 Days To Build A Better Blog - by Darren Rowse of Problogger

2.  Why Am I Here?

As we mentioned before, you have a matter of seconds to convince your visitor to continue reading your blog, so it’s important to have your message – or your blog’s purpose – to come through at first glance.

Remember your readers are always asking “WIIFM”. Can they identify your message and does it speak to them? Does your blog title, domain name, tag line and blog design give an immediate snapshot into what they can expect from you?

My goal with Market Like A Chick’s domain name was to take the “she throws like a chick” innuendo and dish it right back up with smart marketing strategies in the voice of a chick – a woman that can hang with the best of the guys and speak with a real, no BS viewpoint. I created my main header banner myself to include my personality…one that is current with the trends, a deep thinker, yet still definitely feminine.  Do you get that when you visit here?

When creating your content and lay out keep your points clear and your content formatted so it’s easy to read online. That means headings and subheadings with clear points and bullets or lists because the truth is, people tend to scan rather than read online.

A journalist looking for an article to publicize is not going to take more than a few moments to try and uncover your message.  Keep things easy to scan using subheading to pique the reader’s interest.  Your subheadings are just as important as your main headline to keep readers engaged.  Long, run-on paragraphs are boring and lose attention.

I generally try to keep my paragraphs between 2 to 4 sentences.  Just get your point across without making a reader dig through a bunch of rambling.

Don’t be afraid to use a one sentence paragraph to make a point and keep your reader from glazing over.

Some great resources:

  • Are You Trying To Be Too Smart – Men With Pens
  • Can Your Blog Explain Its Purpose in One Second? – Entrepreneur’s Journey

3. Use Images and Graphics

Whenever possible you should integrate graphics and data to support the information in your article and quote sources responsibly. Journalists take their work seriously, as we all should, and when our work is used without permission or proper attribution it is considered very bad etiquette.

If you’ve written your article based on a case study or market research you will usually find that the graphs have already been created for you.  If not, it’s fairly easy to create one in PowerPoint yourself and use the image in your article.

Images speak a thousand words and can help get your point across or prepare the reader for what to expect, simplifying the reading experience.

One of my most trafficked articles that received several trackbacks was written using a case study report that Razorfish had done on why we friend brands online.  It doesn’t have to be YOUR case study, just remember to quote your source for proper credit.  Your viewpoint is what readers are interested in and helps uncover the meaning of all those statistics.

4.  Make Your Content Newsworthy

Make sure your publicity friendly content has a point and the point is relevant and newsworthy. For example, an article about housetraining a dog may not be newsworthy though your prospects may be drawn to your site to access that information.

However, if your article is about the rise in homeless animals and the need for more adoption, which could then lead into information about housetraining a new dog or link to an article on housebreaking a dog then you’re fulfilling the needs of journalists and your audience at the same time.

Journalists and publications seem to love “top lists”.  You can create a list for whatever niche you are writing about.  Think of what has benefited you as you have learned your industry…what authors helped you the most, what 20 things did you discover were a waste of precious time, where can you find resources to save time or money?  Get creative and make your list.

One example that I used was the 20 Best Marketing and Social Media Blogs by Women that had made a difference in my journey.  I put together the list of all the women I had networked with, learned from and respected.  It took me weeks to put together this one article, but it was worth it since it was picked up and published on Forbes!  Not only did I benefit, but so did those 20 ladies.

5.  Share Your Industry Knowledge

Journalists respect and flock to experts in a particular industry and if your website is consistently leading with information and discussing the latest industry news you stand a great chance of becoming their go-to person.

Using your keywords that we talked about in #1 will help journalists find you.  Without those keywords and your name associated with them how will anyone ever know you have the experience they are seeking?

Google your name, your industry niche, and industry keywords to get an idea of where you rank and what type of message you are sending for Google to reference.

When I wrote my series on using social media for event marketing I made sure I checked keyword competition and the amount of search traffic for various phrases before publishing.  Because of this my articles appeared on the first page of Google which led IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) to my blog and my work was discovered.

I just finished writing an original article on event marketing with social media for IABC’s  monthly newsletter which goes out to over 15k subscribers.

Awesome resource for keyword research learning:

  • Cloud Living – by Glen Allsop of PluginID and Viper Chill

6.  Create Your Own Media Kit

Finally, make sure you have a media page on your website with photos, bios and contact information. You may also want to post links to press releases, published work, awards, recognition and any other information that will add credibility.

If you have great publicity friendly content but forget your media page, then you could be losing valuable opportunities.

You will find most of this information on my About Me page…barring the photos, which is still one of my most dreaded requests.  Yes, I need it.  Yes, I know I am probably missing out…so what is my problem??  I’m working on my camera shyness, so bear with me as I overcome this last hurdle.  Don’t be like me in this case. ;-)

When designing your content strategy for the next quarter or year, make sure to include regular publicity friendly content, it can work quite well to attract media attention while at the same time add credibility to your website and still help draw traffic from prospects and customers.

What say ye??  Do you have any other tidbits you might offer to get your content noticed?  Start the discussion below in the comments section.  Replies are usually posted within the hour.

To Your Success,

P.S. ~> All of the resources I’ve listed here have been tremendous help to me.  A couple of the links are affiliate links, but most are completely free.  If you only choose the free options you will still benefit.  If you do decide to purchase I hope you will use my link as appreciation for turning you on to such a valuable resource!  :)
Napoletano

March 29, 2010   16 Comments

Time Saving Article Templates For Creating Fresh Content

In an earlier post this week, I shared benefits to using article marketing for your blog and how it can be highly effective in driving traffic to your site, increasing sales, and giving you the status of “expert”. That said, article writing does not come naturally to everybody. And even writers can run out of ideas sometimes.

A great way to overcome article writer’s block is by using templates. You can take a template and use it to churn out articles on any topic or niche. Below are three of the most commonly used templates used in article writing. Try them next time you’re trying to write but you keep drawing blanks:

The Magic 7

There must be something magical about the number 7 because article writers like to use it and readers like to read articles with the number “7” in the title. There are many variations of this:

  • 7 tips to…
  • 7 ways to…
  • 7 steps to…
  • 7 biggest mistakes in …
  • 7 reasons to…

Once you have your Magic 7 article, write one article about each of your 7 points. Voila! Now you’ve got 8 articles, baby!

The Review

Everyone has an opinion about something and people love hearing them.  Nowadays an opinion, or a review, of a product in an article or on a blog is one of the most influential factors in purchasing decisions.

Do some keyword research to find out what specific things people are Googling reviews for. I would use keywords that relate to my niche, or tie in somehow,  so it not only attracts new visitors but also benefits my loyal readers.  If you’re submitting the article to a directory you would want to use related keywords so the reader has a reason to visit your blog after finishing the article.

The outline for this article is simple: Introduce the item. Write what you liked about it. Discuss what you didn’t like about it. Finish with your bottom line – do you recommend it or not? If so, who would benefit most from it? Before you know it, you’ve got another article all finished. You can write reviews for:

  • Books
  • Movies
  • Music
  • Gadgets
  • Courses

How To

The most popular books are those with the words “how to” in the title. Same thing with articles. It seems we’re always looking for the easiest, the fastest, the best way to do something. So why not write a how-to article for your target audience? Some examples:

  • How to… (a step-by-step instruction)
  • How to avoid…
  • How to find…
  • How to choose the best…
  • How to get…

These are just a few article templates you can use to save time and beat writer’s block. And remember, you can use these templates for your blog posts, Email marketing, article marketing and newsletter ideas too. In fact, there are tons of ways to repurpose and reuse articles.

You’ll get even more ideas from Nicole Dean and Kelly McCausey’s Easy Article Marketing Course. It costs less than hiring a ghost writer, and will pay for itself many times over. You’ll learn not only how to write great articles, but how to get the most profits from them. At the very least, sign up for Nicole and Kelly’s free article marketing E-course.

Do you have any time saving templates you use for your articles?  What do you do to beat writer’s block or drum up new ideas for your articles?  We’d love to hear your ideas, so feel free to leave a comment below!

To Your Success,

March 4, 2010   3 Comments

3 Benefits To Using Article Marketing For Your Blog

When I was doing my yearly planning for 2010, I sat down and listed the five marketing strategies that I intend to carry out to promote Market Like A Chick. Number one on that list…Article marketing. I am committing to write and submit at least one article per week.

In case you’re not familiar with article marketing yet, it involves writing informative and useful articles and distributing them to article directories – giving permission to anyone to republish your article as long as your author resource box is left intact.  The resource box is your most important part of the article and whole reason behind the strategy, so be give some thought to what you put in yours.

Here are some results I have personally experienced from article marketing:

1.  Free traffic to my site

High authority article directories, like Ezine Articles, enjoy a lot of traffic (we’re talking millions of eyeballs every month). Many of those who read my articles invariably click on the links in my author resource box and end up going to my site. This is free traffic that I otherwise would not have been able to attract to my site!

You don’t have to be an expert author to write and submit articles, just be informative and useful.  Give just enough information to provide value, but leave the reader wanting to know more about you and your other work.  Lead the reader to your blog, or wherever you want the additional traffic.

2.  Increased rankings in Google and other search engines

Search engine optimization (SEO) experts say that one of the most important ways to get high Google rankings for your target keywords is to have lots of links from other sites pointing to yours. The key is the anchor text of those links should be the keywords you’d like to rank high for.

This strategy works so well that an Internet marketing “guru”  once succeeded in having his website rank number one in Google for the keywords “coolest guy on earth” (or something like that!) – just by having all his buddies link to his site with that anchor text. That’s how powerful linking is.

These are the same links you get from the usually high-authority article directories all linking back to your website through the author resource box.

3.  Affiliate sales

Some article directories allow you to link, not just to your website, but to an affiliate product’s sales page with your affiliate links. This means that your article gets blasted all over the Internet, thus increasing the chances of somebody clicking on your affiliate links and buying the product. The result? More affiliate commissions for you.

This concept is the essence of the so-called “bum marketing” or lazy marketing, which doesn’t even require you to have a website. All you need to do is write and submit articles to article directories and you make affiliate commissions from those articles for as long as they’re online. We’re talking years here.

Another benefit of article marketing is that you become a published author and, therefore, an expert on the topic. In fact, a friend of mine got interviewed on national TV because the reporter read one of her articles online. That’s media publicity that would have cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars! (Unfortunately, I have not had that opportunity – yet)

Whoops, I just realized I may have been sounding Greek throughout this blog post. “Resource box“, “anchor text”, “affiliate links” – are all these terms new to you? If you haven’t tried article marketing yet and would like to know more, I recommend this free article marketing eCourse from Nicole Dean, founder of Lady Pens (an article directory).

Just go to Easy Article Marketing to sign up for the eCourse. It’s free but, you do have to give your name and email address. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the sign-up form.  Nicole is great about providing the same step by step instructions you’d find here and has spent a lot of time putting together this course.

Can you join my commitment to write and submit just ONE article per week?  It’s a baby step that I know we can take…and if it’s done every week that’s 52 articles per year that can be syndicated and broadcast all over the internet with YOUR name and links.   Game on!  :)

To Your Success,

P.S. ~~>  I only gave you the basic premise here on article marketing but Nicole’s Easy Article Marketing eCourse will show you other tips like, how to get your affiliate links in articles without being banned, how to never run out of article ideas, and how to use article marketing as a stepping stone to getting paid as a writer.  The eCourse is free and if you do decide to buy the full course it’s only $27!

March 1, 2010   55 Comments

3 Simple SEO Basics You Need To Know

If you have set up your own  online business or blog I’m sure you have learned how important it is to get as much traffic as possible to your site. Whether you want people to buy a product, a service or you are looking for more authority in your niche…you need people to know you exist.   One of the best ways to get them to come running is through search engine optimization.

This week I’ll be doing a series on building your business on a budget.  Believe me…as a single mom of four I KNOW how to get what needs to be done on a strict budget…and most of the time, for free.  Come back throughout the week for more business budget tips.

What is SEO?

I’m going to start from the very basics because I know what it was like when I first started my blog and I had no clue about any of this…and I know I needed someone to help me.  Since there are so many new blogs started every day, I know there is someone out there seaarching for the same help.

SEO is the abbreviation for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of using keywords to bring targeted traffic to you. Ideally, when people enter their search keywords into any of the most popular search engines, your website content, videos and audio media should pop up in the first page of search results. That’s what everyone wants to achieve.

The better the search engine rankings the more likely you are to get buyers who are ready to spend their money on what you have to offer.  It also shows that others must like what your writing, teaching or selling because your on the front page and gives you that “she must know what she’s talking about” edge.

Should You Outsource?

You can always find courses or paid reports that teach search engine optimization. Or you can use any of the SEO firms that will gladly take your money in exchange for their help in outfitting your website for the traffic that you want. They may promise you those front page Google and Yahoo rankings within web searches to make the deal sound irresistible.

But, all of this costs money and chances are that when you’re first starting out, you don’t have much of a budget to work with. There’s always the trade off of time vs money.

3 Simple SEO Basics You Need To Know

With SEO or any new business talent, it  may take you longer, but you can learn how to do it yourself. As a student of Internet marketing, you have to be willing to do the legwork required to gain the knowledge you need. You should always learn at least the basics of anything you outsource anyway so you know if you’re getting what you pay for, right?

1. Know how to use the resources available to you.

If you don’t have any keywords in mind, you can use free online keyword tools to help you discover the viability of keywords in your niche. They will also rank them for you. Keep a spreadsheet of all the words you use so you can track how they work at increasing your visitors, sales and search engine rankings. Here are two free keyword tools you can start with:

  • http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/
  • https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

2. Pick a keyword or two and use it on your website.

Website optimization is a bit trickier than optimizing content (we’ll get to that later). For your website, these keywords can appear in webpage headlines, picture tags, taglines, anchor text (the words that hide a hyperlink within the text of an article) and other places. When your website is registered with search engines, the bots and spiders crawl each page. You want them to find your keywords and rank accordingly.

3. Use the keywords in your content displayed on your website.

Keyword density is the number of times that a certain keyword appears in a piece of content of a certain size. Optimal keyword usage is between 1% and 3%. Going over that could be considered “stuffing” and you might get your hand slapped by Google.

Search engine optimization is trial and error. Others can do it for you for a price. But, if you are dedicated and want to increase your skillset, you can learn to use it for yourself, drive traffic to your website and increase sales.

These are very basic tips that some of you may already know…for those of you that are more advanced, what other simple tips can you share with readers? What has worked for you?  Please share your comments below.

To Your Success,

February 22, 2010   9 Comments

5 Minutes To Build Your Own Blog Community

As I was browsing the blogosphere over the last couple months I kept seeing this nifty gadget at the bottom of certain blogs and instantly wanted one.   I love being one of the first ones to try out a new gadget and plugins are my favorite!

I am always looking for new ways to help build and engage in my own blog community, so when I found Wibiya.com I was pretty excited.  Simple to install, it took me less than 5 minutes to get going.

So, what exactly is Wibiya?  It is a customizable social toolbar that pulls together applications, widgets and services for you to utilize on your blog or website.  Using Facebook connect you can build your own community right on your blog, or use Twitter to allow your readers to tweet without leaving your site.  These are excellent ways to have your readers stay a little longer on your blog.

Up until very recently Wibiya was by invite only, but they have opened the floodgates and everyone is invited now.

Social and Communication Features

Twitter -With the Twitter Dashboard, your visitors can tweet your blog pages or posts, see who else has tweeted about that same page or post, search Twitter, view trending topics and see YOUR recent tweets and Twitter profile.  With the Twitter Profile app readers can even browse other reader’s full Twitter profiles without ever leaving your site!

Facebook – Show off your Facebook fan page and build your Facebook community on your own blog with one click.  Your community members can also talk to each other by posting comments in the shoutbox on your blog and even update their status without leaving.

Share - Enables your visitors to share, save and distribute your content through their favorite social network, bookmarking site, or email.  Much like Sociable or ShareThis, but – again – all without leaving your blog.

Chat – This is something I’m pretty interested in.  I can see great possibilities here.  The built in TinyChat allows instant messaging with video and audio options as well as desktop sharing!    What I would be interested to see is if a complete webinar couldn’t be handled right from your blog, all while increasing time spent on your site rather than sending everyone to a third party application offsite. Hmmm…

Features To Increase Page Views

Search - Why send your readers off to Google to do a search when you can keep them there?  Decide how to display search results (overlay, new window, etc) from the search box that is always visible and available.

iTranslate –  Readers can choose from 45 different languages to have your page translated with one click…no page reload!   Now your blog easily is more accessible worldwide.

Latest and Random Posts – Sure, you have your latest posts elsewhere on your blog, but this is about convenience and keeping your content available wherever your reader is at.  Another feature is the Random Posts that can pull some of your posts out of the hat that you may have even forgot about, keeping your readers engaged and looking around your site.

Navigation Lists – Have certain pages you’d like to see visited more often? Since I’m looking for more women entrepreneurs to be featured on my blog I included my Be Featured page.  I also have advertising space available so I made sure to add my Advertise page as well.

Live Notification – Did you notice the little lightbox in the bottom right corner when my blog loaded?  You can set that little puppy up with updates, news, or timely messages such as an offer about to expire. It only loads on the first page visited so your readers won’t be bombarded with every other page visit as they’re browsing around.

Real Time Users – You can track your real-time visitors from your Wibiya toolbar using  Who’s.amung.us.  When a user launches the app it will show the three most popular pages at that moment according to the number of users viewing them and a live dynamic map that pinpoints the Geolocation of every user.

Features To Increase Time On Site

All of the features above will add time on your site, but how about adding some playful gadgets like a Photo Gallery or Games?  Use your Flickr account to show off  your own 3D Wall.  Or, you could even use the Games app to allow your readers to play hooky from work with over 11k games available. (Think Facebook’s Bejeweled).

Customization

Make your toolbar match your color scheme with several templates available and just one click.  You pick which apps you want or don’t want, rearrange the buttons the way you like them, and even upload your logo to continue the branding on your page, and check your stats all from your Wibiya dashboard.

Wibiya Installs On Several Platforms

It literally took me 5 minutes to install the toolbar on my WordPress blog and have all the features running.  The best thing about it is that there is no code to figure out, no .htaccess maneuvering, no hard stuff at all.  If you can install a WordPress plugin and copy/paste a 5 digit passcode, you’re golden!  Wibiya works with all the popular platforms:

  • WordPress
  • Blogger
  • Ning
  • Typepad
  • Standard Websites

Stats and Tracking

Wibiya gives you a full tracking and management system for each application and effectiveness. From your dashboard you can see:

  • Number of Tweets Read
  • Facebook Fan Page Views
  • Posts Shared on Social Networks
  • Number of Real Time Users
  • Number of Website Chat Users
  • Website Searches
  • Translated Posts
  • Latest Posts Read
  • Random Posts Read
  • Live Notifications
  • Page Views Generated
  • Subscribed to RSS Feed

Make Friends On Market Like A Chick

When you’re here, be sure to check the Wibiya toolbar to see who else is hangin’ out and feel free to start chatting it up!  Play around with the features and see if you can find anything cool I may have missed.  I bet I have!

I love the idea of the social toolbar, but it’s only effective if it’s used.  I’ll be checking back here a few times a day to see if I can catch any of you live and start a real time conversation.  Use the toolbar to join my community on Twitter.  That’s where I am most active, but I also have a Facebook Fan Page in the works…more details to follow.

Want one for your blog?  All you have to do is head over to Wibiya.com and get started.  Then come back here and tell us you have your toolbar installed so we can visit you too!

So, what do you think of this new gadget? Do you already have a social toolbar? Have your readers made use of it?  Has it benefited your community?  Leave us all the details in the comments below!

When a user launches the app it will show the three most popular pages at that moment according to the number of users viewing them and a live dynamic map that pinpoints the Geolocation of every user.

To Your Success,

P.S.~> Ready for a little limelight?  I’m looking for women entrepreneurs to be featured on Market Like A Chick.  Don’t forget to head over my Be Featured page and send me your info!
P.S.S.~> I also just opened up some advertising spots on my blog and they’re a bargain right now!  Get banners, text link ads, sponsored reviews of your website or product…or be a main sponsor with all the bells and whistles:  Sidebar banner, sponsored post, text link and daily twitter updates!  Check web stats on my Advertising Page then head over to check pricing and availability.  Prices will not stay this low…as my blog grows so do the rates!  ;)

January 11, 2010   15 Comments

Blog Conversations: Tweets vs Comments Mini-Poll Results

Where is the trend headed for blog conversations and engagement?  I’ve noticed a change in the amount of actual blog comments uploaded here on Market Like A Chick compared to how many times a post is Tweeted.   I performed a quick Twitter  poll to discover the commenting habits of other blog readers. My goal was to find out if Tweeting or Retweeting a post is not more widely done than actually commenting on the blog itself, and if so, why.

In my recent Twitter mini-poll, I asked:

When you find a blog post worth sharing, do you comment on it? Before or after tweeting? Do you ever RT without reading post?

Of those that responded, it seems that when a reader comes across a blog post  they think would provide value for their followers they will first read the blog then tweet the link to share with their followers.  There were two or three readers that said they have Retweeted a post without reading it themselves, based upon the source of the original link and headline.

The general feeling behind blind tweeting was a matter of trust.  Was the source a trusted friend or expert?  If so, then it seems acceptable to retweet a link blindly without reading it themselves.

A few of the responses are below:

“I try to always comment on any Blog post I RT. I figure if I was moved enough to comment others might enjoy it too.”  @reigniteromance

“Always read first, RT, then Comment My twitter peeps deserve my discretion in RT’s before recommending. IMO”@UnKit

“Read first, retweet, and comment. In that order.” - @newkicks

“I NEVER RT w/o reading. But I do comment & usually mention the tweet or linkback in the comment”@TexInTheCity

” I comment first, then tweet. I always at least skim b4 sharing titles don’t always tell if the post is truly worth sharing.” –  @starrstudded

With my next question I asked the readers what mattered to them the most.  It wasn’t meant to be a trick question, but the choice was not so easy.  I asked:

As a blog owner, if you could only choose one, would you rather have your post TWEETED or COMMENTED on?

10 out of 13 people that responded said they would choose an actual comment posted to their blog over having the blog post tweeted.  The reasoning behind the majority were SEO benefits and more engagement.  For those that chose Tweets over comments, their reasoning was to gain more exposure.

Some of the responses are below:

“Commented! It’s sad when they go uncommented ;)” – @JessicaSieghart

“As a blog owner, I’d rather have my posts commented on than tweeted. More interactive & personal (but don’t stop RTing!)” – @QuipsAndTips

“Commented on. I prefer engagement over exposure” – @mattstratton

“Excellent question – different reasons – but for exposure? Tweeted definitely!” - @LinkedInExpert

“Comments are better than RTs. Encourages more dialog and can boost up google/seo rankings” - @TrishSkram

“Tweeted… people can always comment on Tweet!” @SoulfulParent

“I would rather RT’s… RT’s generate spread, spread = reading, reading equals awesomeness.. So RT’s” – @dustinhinton

Jack Humphrey of the Friday Traffic Report wrote up an article titled Blog Commenting Evolution: People would rather Twitter about your posts! which had already got me pondering the subject Tweets vs Comments.  At that time I had already started to notice a difference in the trend and left my COMMENT on his blog saying so.  It’s an interesting post, especially the comment section.  Check it out for more feedback on the subject.

If you have to choose only one to really pursue, I would recommend actual blog comments for the exact reasons that were stated:

1.  SEO Benefits: Google loves when your readers spend time on your site.  A reader would need to read the post, comprehend it, think of a reply, then post the comment…all take time.  The comment itself adds content to your page.  If the readers are leaving RELEVANT comments, then they are probably using some of the same keywords you have used in your content.  That additional content is there for Google to pick up when your site is crawled.

2.  Engagement: Your blog should be used as your hub where everything about you can be found in one easily searchable spot.  The community you build around you and who you are as a brand would be best kept on your blog as well.  This shows anyone who comes to your site that people value your opinions and are engaging with you which in turn adds to your credibility. No need for the visitor to go searching Twitter, Facebook and where ever to find your community.  It’s right there.

As for exposure, I must admit that I receive around 60-70% of my traffic from social networks and especially Twitter.  Without Twitter I would have never been discovered or at least not nearly as quickly or as widely accepted.  So, I agree the exposure is excellent.  It’s a good thing we don’t have to choose between one or the other!

What are some of your thoughts on the subject?  How would you have answered either of the poll questions?  Do you comment on blogs, and if not…why not? Please engage here with us and leave your comments below.  Oh…then be sure to TWEET and bookmark!  :)

To Your Success,

P.S.~> Speaking of COMMENTS…the Top Commentator contest is still going on for this week and every week of December.  Be the top commentator on Market LIke A Chick and receive one of 16 Google Wave Invites I have to give away!  Even if you already have Wave or you don’t want Wave, you will still benefit from the exposure since you name and link is displayed.  Just be sure to follow the rules.  :)
P.P.S. ~> Thanks to all my wonderful Twitter friends that participated in the survey.  My followers are awesome..you should follow them too!  Just click on their Twitter handle in the post.

Blog Commenting Evolution: People would rather Twitter about your posts!

December 4, 2009   15 Comments

Hit and Miss at Blogworld 09 – Who Rocked It & Who Dropped It

As a newcomer to Blogworld I had a few preconceived ideas of what the event might be like and what I would like to take away from the event.  I’m not totally new to live events, just new to the blogging community events.  Here’s my own rundown on what I felt was a hit or miss at Blogworld 09:

HIT: Without a doubt, Jim Kukral did an outstanding job at moderating & running the monetization track at the event.  People come to a session based on the title and what they think they are going to get out of it.  Jim did an excellent job of keeping the panelists on point and wasn’t bashful about asking the panelisst, “yeah, that’s great…but what does that have to do with ___?  Our audience want to know about ____“.  I know I appreciated the effort and the expert input Jim put in to make sure our expectations were exceeded.  Thank you Jim!

MISS: There were points of the Closing Keynote that were funny, but we should have walked away feeling inspired, confident and ready to take on the world. I was totally shocked at hearing the f-bomb dropped by Guy Kawasaki several times.  I always looked at him as so professional that it was funny the first time… then just seemed like he was trying to fit in with the crowd. I agree with Darren Rowse & David Risley that it should have been done at a different point in the expo & a little less raunchy for this type of event.     I was sadly disappointed with the Chad Vader interview/performance.  I love Chad Vader and was looking forward to it, but there was nothing more than a few words.  I had heard how funny the Bloggess is and knew she relies on her shock value to get laughs, but the reference to drug & alcohol dependency was a bit too far even for me.

Darren Rowse & Brian Clark Blogworld 09

HIT: Brian Clark & Darren Rowse were so very impressive during the Super Panel Site Review.  Brian was always prepared within seconds with insightful tips for each of the bloggers that came up asking for a review of their site.  Both he and Darren were quick to point out creative ideas and strategies for monetizing blogs –  from where to look for niche leads or how to tweak what was already being done to perfect a strategy – They both offered real help that could be implemented right away.  It seems even the already successful bloggers  wanted the advice from this panel as Michael Martine of Remarkablogger & Timothy Sykes both stepped up to the mic.  It was cute when Darren was quick to share with Michael that bald men with glasses tend to do well. ;)

HIT: Micah Baldwin was another hit in my books.  As the Moderator for the session “Measuring and Building Online Influence”, Micah let everyone know upfront that there was a hashtag for that session that he would be watching.  Through tweets he was able to gauge how the audience was feeling about the flow of the session and keep things on course.  I loved his cut through the crap statements that hit you square between the eyes, like “If you’re a jerk, social media will make you look like a bigger jerk” and “Trust is consistency of action. If you’re a dick all the time, I can trust that you’re a dick”

MISS: The video session “Work With Whatcha Got” was a miss in my books only because the title was a bit misleading. One of my goals this weekend was to pick up tips on how to start using video more, but I am coming in with no experience.  This title sounded like it would show me how to use the equipment & know-how I already have to be successful.  Lee & Sara O’Donnel ran the session and Sara admitted up front that she had been drinking too much and had just woke up only mintues before the session. (See my note below about the party scene).  The session wasn’t what I expected but covered more advanced topics like audio/visual filters, costumes, and specific cameras recommended. This was definitely not for beginners.  A little more detail in the description of the session would have been ideal.

Dave Taylor Blogworld 09

HIT: Dave Taylor & Chris Pirillo did a great job in their session “Are You Getting The Most Money Out Of Your Blog”, as did Tim Jones.   Chloe Spencer didn’t say much for the entire session other than a few words about AdSense…a slight miss, but I know it’s tough to jump in when someone else is totally rocking it with their answers already.  Loved Dave’s input on diversifying income streams on your blog and appreciating even the $5/day streams.  ($5/day will buy a new laptop per year…but I doubt he’s working on one that cheap)  Chris Pirillo always adds his energy & that makes the session more engaging.   His tips like “Be a content DJ & remix your content into new products” and how You Tube sky-rocketed his online success were great.

MISS: These are just a general misses that hopefully Blogworld organizers will pick up.  A few suggestions would be

  • MORE POWER STRIPS! This is a blogging event.  Everyone comes with laptops that run on electricity.  We should have had strips running taped down under at least the first couple rows of tables for charging.  No one wants to miss a session to charge up in the New Media Lounge.
  • Better panelist bios including websites and Twitter names! We are a twittering society, but we can’t acknowledge the speaker if we don’t know their user name.  Keep them posted on the screen or at least in the online or event program guides.
  • More female panelists! There are plenty of professional female bloggers that can speak at events to give a woman’s leadership perspective.  There were very few at this event  that were in sessions other than mommy blogging or social media.  If you were a woman that is not part of the mommy blogger group and you did not have the social media pass you were SOL.  How about Yvonne DiVita, Valeria Maltoni, Lena West, Lynn Terry or Michelle Miller? All successful bloggers that provide excellent content that have nothing to do with mommy blogging. I respect mommy bloggers.  I’m a mom.  I love my kids.  But, I don’t blog about them… I blog FOR them so we can maintain a quality of life,  as do many other women bloggers.
  • Less club scenes for networking at night.  Not all of us want to hit the Vegas clubs and get off on that scene.  The Hilton BBQ on the last night would have been nice, but many people (myself included) were heading out of town right after the closing keynote and had to miss it.  Why not save the clubbing for the final night for all the die hards?  Vegas can be about class & luxury, not just night clubs and partying.  Just sayin…

All in all, the networking was the hardest for me to tackle, and the most important part of the conference I took away with me.  Sure, there were great panels and expert tips being shared…but honestly, you can get all that online.  The face to face is what this is all about, and I get that now. Going it alone was a good experience for me, forcing me to step out of my comfort zone.    So, if you’re nervous about going to big events or feel like you won’t fit in, come talk to me and work through it.  I can honestly say that this event will be a life changing one for me.

If you attended Blogworld this year what are your thoughts?  If you didn’t attend this year, is it something you plan to do in the future or how do you feel about live events?

To Your Success,

P.S.  ~> Don’t forget to check out the new online white elephant party coming to Facebook in early November!  AlbinoPhant is sure to be fun and a nice way to share the holidays with loved ones far away.  You’ll have the chance to choose your gifts from Amazon & have them shipped directly to your family and friends…that is AFTER you’re done teasing, bantering, stealing gifts and laughing together.  I had a great time representing AlbinoPhant at Blogworld and I’m sure you will create an experience to remember even from a distance.

October 19, 2009   10 Comments

Visualization and Manifesting – 30 Day Challenge For Business Success

You may be wondering what intention, meditation and all this law of attraction stuff have to do with Marketing.  Everything!  The thoughts you have about your business or your business “intentions” will give you exactly the results you are expecting…good or bad.  All the marketing know-how and education you have will amount to nothing if you have an unhealthy way of looking at your opportunity for business success.

Visualization and Manifesting

The purpose of visualization is to help manifest the outcome we want. It’s a bit like running a film clip in our imagination as if we have already achieved what it is that we are hoping to achieve. Visualization is a very useful tool to help us realize our goals. It’s important to notice the emotions that you would be feeling if you were CURRENTLY living your desire.  Focus on that emotion of well being, joy, excitement, satisfaction, or whatever it is that you imagine yourself feeling when your goal & intentions are accomplished.  The emotion is what puts the law of attraction into full speed.

I have always liked the comparison that if ‘prayer’ is talking to God, in whatever way you define God; ‘meditation’ is listening to God. To really listen to someone requires quiet and concentrated effort. The same is true of meditation. It’s also important to understand that you do not need to have any particular religious beliefs to meditate. Anybody can do it.

Creating The Habit

Whenever we are creating new habits, it’s best have a routine.  The best times to meditate are when you first wake up or just before you doze off at night, visually creating your day.  But, I have to admit that it’s not always easy to be consistent when you are just starting out, so don’t worry if you forget one day…just find 20 minutes of quiet time somewhere in your day to sneak away.

I am working on a template to use along with the daily meditation to track progress and help us acknowledge little manifestations along the way.  I should have it up within a few days, so be on the lookout for it.  Remember, this is a 30 day commitment but is really just a way of setting the stage for much more.  Use it as a test.  A test to see if this stuff really works or not.  If you take notice of the clues the Universe leaves you, you will honestly be amazed at the power you see at work in your everyday life in the next 30 days!

Setting The Mood

I’ve added some music below that is very relaxing and sets a peaceful atmosphere.  Headphones really work best to shut out the rest of the noise in the room.  Take the time to check out these YouTube channels if you like a certain video.  You can usually buy tracks to keep and play on your mp3 player.

There are many ways to meditate but all aim to do the same thing, create a quiet space in which we can just connect with our inner beings.  If you would like to have some support in your quest, we have several people that are networking and supporting one another on Twitter.

Follow these peeps that are also part of the group and leave your Twitter username in the comments if you’d like to join in so we can follow you too! If you have a suggestion for a hashtag leave that in the comments…it will make it easier to track everyone’s feedback and progress.  Feel free to leave your tips and suggestions…we love to read them.  :)

  • @TexInTheCity
  • @imrelb
  • @GeriRosman
  • @LindseyHayzlett
  • @Marketlikeachik

To Your Success,

P.S. ~~>  One of my all time favorite author & speakers is Dr. Wayne Dyer.  Dr. Dyer has his own unique way of bringing peace to your surroundings and a smile to your face as he shares his wisdom and his personal family experiences in his lessons.  I would say I have learned more from him than any one other author and his teaching brought me through one of the biggest struggles of my life.  If you are looking for a deeper understanding of meditation, intentions and thoughts…Wayne Dyer is my very top recommendation!

October 5, 2009   12 Comments