How to Increase Blog Traffic…

Ted B&W #140conf 6.2012 (1)

For me it is not about tools, but about strategy, and execution. Here are a few things to consider in addition to just posting articles and working the SEO angle…

1. User-Friendly Navigation: Keeping your blog easy to navigate with intuitive category labels will help people find the information they seek much faster. Also, make it easy for readers to leave comments and share your posts on various channels that will help lead others back to you.

2. Look for Holes in Your Competition: Take a look at your competition’s blogs and websites. Are there content holes they’ve missed that you can take advantage of? Ways to add value not already available and help you stand out. Those consistently provide lots of content have a bigger chance of attracting people who are actively looking for information.

3. Don’t Close Your Comments: Don’t close the door for people to leave comments on your blog; doing so leaves the impression that you only care about what you have to say and are not willing to be responsive to others. Seth Godin can do it, and it sure works for him, but until you are playing in that league, don’t go there.

4. Commenting on Other Blogs: Look for other blogs in your industry that have a good amount of traffic and comments, and contribute a comment, but only if you think you can add value to the conversation. Be careful not to promote your blog here; just add some insight, and do it on a regular basis. Make seeking out and commenting on other blogs a part of your daily activities. The more you contribute to the conversation happening around you, the more you’ll be seen as a thought-leader (and people will click on your link to check you out).

5. Syndicate, syndicate, syndicate… share your content via all social channels always including Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, which also makes it easy for others to share. And don’t be afraid to do it more than once periodically sharing old posts via your social channels, especially those that were well received. Also let others freely repost your content with a link back to the original post.

Welcome to the ‘Age of Influence,’ where anyone can build an audience and effect change, advocate brands, build relationships and make a difference.

Develop an Acute Ability to Listen

What if your point of difference was an acute ability to listen?

What would that look like?

It always amazes me how many people cut me off mid-sentence, and don’t even let me get my answer out, after they ask me a direct question.

Yes, I recognize listening alone may not set you apart from the competition. From my experience, you may win more business using your ears and eyes than with any other marketing strategy. That’s because, with listening, you can understand your prospect, and that understanding will help you win new business.



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Why Relationships & Advocacy Are Keys to Social Success (Webinar via @EngageSciences)


October 23, 2013 by engagesciences

On Tuesday October 22 Richard Jones, the CEO of EngageSciences was joined by Ted Rubin, globally recognised as the most followed CMO on Twitter for a live webinar on “Why Relationships and Advocacy Are The Keys to Social Success”.

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How to Climb the Hierarchy of Success

I think it looks like this:

  1. Attitude
  2. Approach
  3. Goals
  4. Strategy
  5. Tactics
  6. Execution

We spend all our time on execution. Use this word instead of that one. This web host. That color. This material or that frequency of mailing.

Big news: No one ever succeeded because of execution tactics learned from a Dummies book.

Tactics tell you what to execute. They’re important, but dwarfed by strategy. Strategy determines which tactics might work.

But what’s the point of a strategy if your goals aren’t clear, or contradict?

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How to Win with Social Media by Running Your Own Race

Laura Click & Kyla Cofer - Nashville Women's Half MarathonIn September, I ran my second half marathon with my friend, Kyla. As we trained for the race, it became clear that Kyla was a bit faster than me. And, on race day, she decided to run ahead of me about half-way through the race.

Although it was incredibly lonely to run the last seven miles by myself, I knew it was the right thing to do for Kyla, and for me. She had to run her own race, and so did I. And, in the end, we both accomplished personal records.

In life, and in business, it’s way too easy to worry about keeping up with the infamous Jones’. You know the ones…they have the fancy car, the perfect house and the incredibly gorgeous children. In business, the Jones’ are the ones who seem to have endless amounts of success, seemingly without any effort.

Social media has made it so much easier to keep up with the Jones’. Now, we can see people’s social media efforts in full display. We see how the business down the street uses Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and we constantly read stories about how businesses are using the latest tool, network or gadget.

Social media is the shiny new toy that everyone wants to play with and it’s very easy to get caught up with what others are doing. We think that every business needs a Facebook page, even when they don’t. We believe every business should use social media, even if it’s not a fit. Although social media is a fantastic tool for business, it isn’t right for everyone. Or at least, it might not be the first weapon in your marketing arsenal.

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Social Media and the Power of Business Etiquette

With billions of Facebook posts, tweets, and YouTube uploads, there’s never been a more appropriate time to evaluate our social graces—in real life and in social media. The relaxed communication style of emails, texting, and the public timeline can present an illusion of relationship. After one tweet, we find ourselves sharing personal information with total strangers and risking a breach of business decorum.

Inextricably woven into the art of doing business is etiquette: a combination of common courtesies, mutual respect, and common sense. Learning how to build appropriate relationships in business is crucial to business success. By focusing on three core areas—actions, appearance, and words—we can gain a clearer understanding of the messages we send to colleagues, managers, and customers.

Make it easy for people to do business with you. We all want to work with smart, perceptive, well-mannered people. If your actions and personality get in the way of your clients’ receiving what they need from you, change. Are you hard to please? Critical? Unappreciative of colleagues or vendors? You’ll lose clients and employees with a history of these behaviors.

To discover how to attract and keep clients, find the best leaders and emulate them. Notice how they lead, how they conduct business, and how they treat their team. Interestingly, people’s personalities aren’t disguised on social media channels, they’re actually magnified. When one executive showed me his 3-page resume, I smiled and said, “We might not need traditional resumes from job seekers now, we’ll just Google them. We can learn immediately who they keep company with, how disciplined they are, and if they show respect to others.”

Common courtesies in business begin with punctuality, a firm handshake, and attentive listening—online and in person. Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval have captured valuable business lessons in their book The Power of Nice, How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness. They explain that “Nice makes more money. Nice is healthier. Nice spends less time in court.”

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Analyzing Groupon Profitability: 7 Factors for Group Buying Success

I’ve had a lot of conversations lately about the strategy of group buying sites (or daily deals, flash sales, etc.). Groupon is the leader in this space…so much the word is becoming a verb. The questions I often hear are: How do you know if Groupon (and group buying deals) are right for a type of business? What are the factors that make Groupon a profitable strategy?

How do you evaluate and analyze the profitability of Groupon?

Already there are a lot of competitors with Groupon, and several more that are headed toward even more niche group buying capabilities, focused by interest, small city, or people groups. The group buying strategy will continue, and so will the conversation about this. But the model of giving a significant (50%+) discount on goods and services has its dangers. So it piqued my curiosity to analyze this from an economic perspective.

On the plus side, this is a pay-for-performance approach to customer acquisitions. And it’s a sudden and (mostly) predictable burst of new customers and revenue.

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Going Beyond Social Media Reach

We’re a little too focused on collecting humans like marbles.

Our fans. Followers. Subscribers. Impressions.

Once upon a time, numbers like gross circulation mattered a bit more, because the available channels and paths for information were somewhat limited. So by putting yourself visibly in one of them, chances were pretty good that you’d actually be seen, and command a fair bit of someone’s attention, at least for a few moments.

Now? Not nearly. Clicking “follow” or “like” is a fleeting, non-commital moment. And just as easily, that attention is off and elsewhere. (How many pages have you liked – whether sincere or just out of support for a friend – and never revisited?). It’s the equivalent of someone picking up the flyer and tossing it in the next trash can. Veneered attention is so easy to give out, because it doesn’t take our time, our effort, or even our brainpower. We simply need to click. And move on.

Is that really the only way you want to define success?

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The 5 Keys to Successful Online Demand Generation

It is good to hear senior marketing people beginning to talk turkey about online demand generation now that some of the luster and magic has worn off of social media. And while both customer behavior and online tactics have evolved, the essence of good online demand generation has stayed the same for the past decade; and really its boils down to 5 key factors to sustainable success online.

Before we get into the 5 keys, let’s first reach an understanding on what online demand generation really is.

First, this is well beyond generating a “lead” through a form or SEO/SEM tactics, although these may form a piece of the overall process. The way I like to describe it is this…

“From the point of first contact to the last time they (the customer) touches your online presence, you have created a defensible brand position in their mind for your product or service that leads directly or indirectly to self-qualified prospects for long term customer relationships and near term revenue.”

The art of generating demand, particularly in an ever increasing complex and noisy digital marketplace, requires an increasingly simple and targeted approach.

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