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How to Write the Perfect Blog Post

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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in SOCIAL MEDIA

 

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Promoting Your Blog!

Posted by Actionable Marketing Expert, Heidi Cohen for heidicohen.com on February 16, 2013

Social Media: 23 Ways To Promote Your Blog

How to Use Social Media to Expand Your Blog Reach

You should spend about 20% of your time creating blog content and 80% of your time promoting it, according to social media experts Jay Baer and Chris Brogan.

This may sound like heresy to bloggers who spend hours pouring their heart and soul into each blog post. But the reality is that if you don’t promote your content effectively, your hard work of crafting the optimal post is for naught.74520568804354899_5q12XRsw_c

To facilitate the blog promotion process, here are twenty-three social media tips to get your blog content in front of the largest possible audience.

Maximize blog content’s reader attractiveness

Make sure that your blog and content are dressed for success before you hit publish on your next post.

  1. Craft attention-getting titles. If you get this wrong, it hinders rest of your promotional effort. Titles are what pulls readers in for blog posts as well as on other social media platforms. If you decide to tweak your blog post title, DON’T change your permalink.
  2. Use images at the top of each post, preferably a photograph of people. People are programmed to look at other people. Take advantage of this by including a photo related to each blog post or of your blogger.
  3. Claim authorship of your content on Google. The goal is to associate your content with your Google+ account. In addition to socializing your content, this also helps your searchability.

Play well with other bloggers

Remember social media includes other blogs. In fact, most social media influencers are bloggers. Leverage this information to help build your audience.

  1. Link to other blogs and reference bloggers in your blog posts. High profile bloggers like to be recognized for their accomplishments. Mention them and link to their blogs to get their attention. Don’t assume that they’ll see a pingback. Write a hand crafted email to let them know.
  2. Create a list of influencers in your category. Everyone loves to be a winner. Give your list the red carpet treatment. Social Media Examiner has its Top 10 Social Media Bloggers and Mack Collier is selecting a group of top bloggers. (BTW—I’d be thrilled if you nominated HeidiCohen.com!) Here’s how I celebrated my favorite 14 Social Media Bloggers.
  3. Interview rock stars in your category via podcasts. A number of bloggers including Mike Stelzner of Social Media Examiner have started podcasts like this. Take this one step further and cross post it on audio portals.
  4. Talk with experts in your field via video. You can do this via a number of different platforms as well as in real life at conferences and events. Like podcasts, crosspost your content on video platforms like YouTube.
  5. Leave comments on other blogs. While blog comments don’t necessarily translate to revenue or other business goal, their nirvana for most bloggers. Get the attention of your favorite blogger by leaving meaty content in your comments. It’s a good idea to register for responses to the post to ensure you can respond.  Go one step further and share the posts where you took the time to comment.
  6. Write guest blog posts. I call this Other People’s Audiences. Offer the best content you have to other blogs.
  7. Invite guest bloggers. Let other people post on your blog since they’ll share the content with their social media community. You still need to provide the same quality content. Understand this isn’t a slam dunk approach for not creating your own posts since you still need to select, edit and incorporate the other tech enhancements.

Encourage social sharing

Make it easy for visitors to share your content with their social network. Understand that sharers may not read your content but their follows will. This results in earned media impressions.

  1. Include social sharing icons at the top and bottom of every post. Remember out of sight, out of social click.
  2. Incorporate “ClickToTweet” into your posts to encourage tweeting. Highlight data points or useful quotes in posts. This is a “Don’t make me think” option.
  3. Create pinable images. Where appropriate, produce attractive graphic images that readers want to share on Pinterest. Also, include a pin button adjacent to the image.
  4. Build attractive infographics. By their nature, infographics are highly shareable and attract inbound links that help search. Also, pin them on Pinterest.follow-on-pinterest-button

Share your blog content on social media

At a minimum, post your blog posts on the relevant social media venues. Use a ratio of ten messages about other people’s content for every one about your firm.

  1. Share your blog content across social media platforms. This is best done with targeted commentary but automating your social sharing is better than not sharing it.
  2. Expand shareability on social media, especially Twitter with hashtags. Include relevant hashtags where appropriate.
  3. Chop your column into a set of tweets and drip out over time. This works well when you have long lists and can make each one a tweet.
  4. Create a pinboard specifically targeted at your posts. To enhance your content’s sharability, include strong visuals because Pinterest is a visual platform.
  5. Leverage LinkedIn Groups to target content delivery. Join LinkedIn Groups that are relevant to your topic and share your blog posts there.

Establish your social media presence

Use social media to provide another view of your blog that’s human.

  1. Create a public profile for your blog on various social media networks where appropriate. For example, create a Business Page on Facebook (versus your personal profile.)
  2. Link to your blog in your social media profiles. Spotlight your blog in your presence across social media by including a link to your blog.
  3. Leverage conversation on other social media platforms. Use the social media conversation to broaden your base of social media acquaintances. For example participate in Twitter chats, especially #blogchat on Sunday nights, to broaden your base.
  4. Place images on Flickr that link back to your website. Share your photographs and other images via Flickr. Give them public rights if users link back to your blog.

Social media and blogging can work well together to maximize your reach. Make sure that you spend the necessary time distributing and promoting your content.

 
 

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Spring Cleaning Your Digital Life

Spring Cleaning Your Digital Life Including Social Media, written & posted by Actionable Marketing Expert, Heidi Cohen, for heidicohen.com

21 Tips To Unclutter Your Digital Devices & Social Media Presences

Spring is in the air making everything seem fresh and new. But open one of your digital devices such as your computer, your smartphone or your tablets, and there’s lots of stuff that’s accumulated over time.

Just as you give your home a through spring cleaning, now’s the time to go through your digital inboxes, files and profiles on digital devices and social networks to get rid of the information that’s irrelevant, reducing your effectiveness.

Here are 21 tips to help you clear out the information you no longer need. The objective is to remove as much clutter as possible from your digital and social media life. This advice applies to both the personal and professional aspects of your life.

1. Scan hard copy documents for online storage. Want to keep your information easily accessible? Create a digital version and file it appropriately. (Keep originals where necessary!)

2. Unsubscribe to email newsletters that are no longer relevant. For each newsletter you receive, consider if the information is still relevant and useful? Did you only sign up for a one-time sale or white paper? Is it an old project? Is the information redundant with other sources like Twitter or LinkedIn feeds?

3. Delete or archive your email inbox. Does your email inbox contain hundreds of emails waiting for future actions? If so, they probably distract you every time you open your inbox. Take the time to ruthlessly go through them.

4. Stop alerts that are now irrelevant. Assess the alerts you’ve set up. Are they still relevant to your job, projects and other interests? Stop them to remove inbox clutter.

5. Add or change email filters. Are your current email filters working for you? Are regular newsletters and alerts automatically filed and reviewed in batches.

6. Check email signature file(s). Is the information up-to-date? Are you announcing events or promotions that already occurred?
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7. Organize digital documents into folders. Take time to systematize your digital content to help you find it faster when you need it.

8. Delete redundant documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Many people keep every version of every document they create during the development process. But once you’ve finalized the content, purge the interim versions.

9. Examine your download folder for clutter. It keeps information you may forget about once you’ve used it. Go through this folder to free up space on your computer or other device.

10. Check software updates. Most software signals users to install the latest updates, but if you’re like me, you put them off since it’ll interrupt what you’re doing at the time. So, take time to ensure you’ve got the latest software version.

11. Review your mobile apps and uninstall those you don’t use. Mobile apps have a way of expanding since you want to test new things or your spouse, partner or child wants something. It’s useful to get rid of those apps you no longer use and lose the clutter.

12. Transfer photos and videos from your mobile device(s) to your computer. While everyone likes to have a few special photographs of family and friends with them, you don’t need your entire photo library on your phone or tablet.

13. Back up your digital devices. Do you feel you’d be lost without the information on your computer, smartphone or tablet? Then make sure you back it up either to another computer, external drive or the cloud.

14. Clean out your RSS feeds. If you’ve got an RSS reader, go through and eliminate feeds you’re no longer interested in. Also, get rid of feeds where you receive the information via another format.

15. Arrange your bookmarks whether they’re on a social sharing site or your browser. Organize and delete bookmarks that are no longer useful or available.

16. Give your social media profiles a new spring look. Use a new photograph. Edit and update your profiles, keywords and links.

17. Check privacy settings, especially on Facebook. Determine who you want to see the information you share. Remember your family and friends may be less stringent with their settings than you are. As a result, your updates and information may be available to others you don’t know.

18. Eliminate third party applications on social media you no longer use. Third party apps often request a lot of information and may have access to your data. Therefore, if you’re not using them, delete them.

19. Un-tag yourself from social media photographs that reflect badly on you. Since you never know who’s checking on you, ensure you present a consistent image. Start with the oldest photographs first and work your way forward.
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20. Purge your social media inboxes. Delete old requests, invites and conversations.

21. Sift through friends and followers. If you’re no longer interested in receiving information and engaging with the people to whom you’re connected to, get rid of the connection. Think Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Think in terms of having a more engaged following. (To understand the rationale for this tip, read Why Isn’t Anyone Listening to Me on Twitter?)

While spring cleaning your digital life can be time consuming, the process can be cathartic. More important, it ensures that the information you receive via your digital devices and social media platforms are relevant. By eliminating the messages you no longer need, you remove distractions that keep you from being your most efficient.

Stop procrastinating…get ‘er done!

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2013 in SOCIAL MEDIA

 

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Tea…for ONE!

Today I took some time out and made a cup of Yorkshire Tea, grabbed Penmarric by Susan Howatch, and sat in my favorite chair. Started reading, but drifted back to the first time I read this book, the summer of 1974 while vacationing on Cape Cod. It was a wonderful time in my life, full of promise and expectations….

Penmarric is a great read, all about family feuding. Who doesn’t like to see other families in their dysfunctional state? Interestingly, the story actually parallels Henry II and his ‘loving’ family.
Try it..you’ll love it!

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Tea for One

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2013 in TEA

 

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The Cousins’ War Trilogy by Philippa Gregory

An exceptional trilogy, bringing to life the Plantagenet and York families and their continued quest for the crown of England. Philippa Gregory is one of my favorite authors for historical fiction. Her character development is good..always insights as to how these people got to their place in life..what drove them, what held them back, and how the changing world affected them.

As a lover of English history (which started from the time I first visited York Cathedral as a very young child), I think of the War of the Roses, like a climbing rose bush..so many shoots, so many buds, so many beautiful roses, but oh so many thorns, as well. The most important aspect of this trilogy for me, is that I can put into prospective who’s a red Lancaster/Tudor and who’s a white York. But in the end the whole civil war is depressing, as is any civil war, so many lost lives.

The following is a narration from Philippa Gregory about the women of The Cousins’ War, Jacquetta Woodville, Elizabeth Woodville, and Margaret Beaufort.

 

riversThe Lady of the Rivers

The Lady of Rivers is the story of Jacquetta, Dowager Duchess of Bedford, now known also as Jacquetta Woodville is the mother of Elizabeth Woodville, Edward IV’s wife & queen. Jacquetta is said to be descended from the river goddess, Melusina, and has the power of ‘second sight’. This connection to witchcraft follows her through life, always clouding peoples’ judgment of her, her family, and in particular her daughter’s rise from commoner to queen.

I particularly enjoyed this book, because I did not know about the Woodville family and their matriarch. The story was fast moving, informative, but since it is fiction, I found that I needed to know more about Jacquetta. Sometimes it’s hard to determine what’s fact and what’s fiction, but the more you read, compare, and investigate, the more you understand where an author turns to fictional additions to the story.

whiteThe White Queen

The White Queen is the story of Elizabeth Woodville, an extraordinarily beautiful young widow, a commoner, self-centered , and with an ambition that has no bounds. As some would say, she used trickery or witchcraft to lure Edward IV to marry her and make her his queen. Once in this exalted royal position Elizabeth used her power to promote her family and do away with the enemies she creates along the way. One of the most unfortunate turns in English history is the imprisonment and disappearance of her two sons, known as the “princes in the tower” . Elizabeth is, however, a survivor, by whatever manipulative means she can find and use to her advantage. After the marriage of her daughter to Henry Tudor, Elizabeth believes her right as dowager queen, and mother of the present queen, gives her ‘rights’. At the end of her life she finally reaps what she has sown.

Elizabeth waiting for King Edward
under the oak tree

This piece of the trilogy puzzle is also a favorite of mine. It’s a must read to see the entire picture of these fascinating times and particularly the part the women play. The expression comes to mind ‘behind every good man there’s a woman’. Well in this case there certainly is, one with a driving force of ambition giving over to cruelty. Ms. Gregory once again gives a wonderful character development for Elizabeth Woodville, it makes the story come alive and I wanted/needed to know how this woman would fare. I did find that some points were not in keeping with history, but it is a fiction novel.

OMG…a trailer from the upcoming mini-series of The White Queen..can’t wait!

redThe Red Queen

The Red Queen is the story of Lady Margaret Beaufort who is betrayed as unlikeable, driven, a piety to match no other. Margaret devotes her entire life to the belief that her family should wear the crown, that they are the true royals and her son, Henry Tudor will be the king. She is a master at intrigue, liaisons, and treason to further ‘the true cause’. Margaret all but imprisons her daughter-in-law Elizabeth , Queen to Henry VII, in order to maintain control. The ultimate, and one the first, control freaks in history.

The story of Lady Margaret intrigued me. I did not know her story so, of course, I looked up more books on her and now see another side of the ‘war’. I think that any book that pushes you to seek further knowledge about the subject..must be a good book. I highly recommend this book, it’s a rich drama about desperate people in desperate times, which most of the time they create themselves. These three books are an easy read and a must for lovers of historical fiction set in the 1400s

Lady Margaret Beaufort

Lady Margaret Beaufort

For more insight on Lady Margaret Beaufort watch the following videos by Philippa Gregory.

 

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Twitter Stats!

TwitterStats

Despite the fact that 90% of the top 50 retailers have a presence on Twitter, only 29% use it to actively engage with consumers.

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2013 in SOCIAL MEDIA, Twitter

 

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Abraham Lincoln

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There’s been alot of talk about the movie “Lincoln”. You don’t need to be a history buff to enjoy this film..get out and see it. Did you know that Abraham Lincoln loved dachshunds?

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2013 in DACHSHUNDS

 

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