We often think of the 'calm before the storm', but rarely do we recognize or even witness the 'calm after the storm'. This sunset occurred less than an hour after a severe storm, near Otter Falls, MB, that brought down a hundred trees near a cabin we had rented. The clouds became soft like cotton balls (mammatus clouds) and the sky was at peace.
After 13 years of successfully helping people market, sell & dominate their respective niches on and offline, I thought it would be good to start sharing some of my not so secret tactics with subscribers and visitors. Dominating a niche is a multifaceted approach and today I’m only going to focus on just one part of that process called Search Engine Optimization.
First off, unless you are prepared to spend north of TOO MUCH MONEY a month you are going to have a very difficult time legitimately dominating Search Engines Rankings for a top level niche online. The fact of the matter is that regardless of what any SEO company says for any price, the search engines will discover & punish SEO tactics. Maybe they will not punish you today, tomorrow, or even next month… but if it is purely a SEO Tactic it will eventually have the complete opposite effect that you desire.
So what is the secret to dominating SEO for any niche over the Long Run?
Is it back links? Nope, but over time legitimate back links can help.
Is it massive use of different social media accounts? No, although effective & integrity based use of company or personal social media accounts can be good for connecting with your niche, customers & prospects!
Is it paying for over seas content spinners to push out mass content across the web? Definitely a huge NO WAY!
Is it links from authority sites like Wall Street Journal, Major Universities & CNN? No, but as you can imagine a quality one way link from an authority site (the legitimate way) is great for your search engine rankings.
Here is the big secret folks.
The absolute best approach to dominating any niche online is…
It is all about regularly & consistently putting out the best content in the world for your niche. It must be content that is or could eventually be referenced by world class websites, offline publications & media. It is content that generates discussion. It is content that is relevant, timely & engaging. It is text, audio, video, PDF, documents and any other type of world class material you or your organization spits out.
If you or your organization spent 75% of your time on tactics and 25% of the time on content, then any Search Engine Optimization gains will surely be lost as quickly as they came. I Highly suggest you, your organization and everyone seeking better search engine rankings that the correct formula for long term domination of any niche online is spending 75% of the time on the content, and 25% of the time on legitimate strategies that the major search engines will be happy to reward your web property with higher rankings over the long term.
So whether you do it yourself, or choose to work with a marketing company, please be wary of any company, program or Search Engine Guru who doesn’t focus on the quality of your CONTENT, and is happy to take your money for the promise of 1st Page Rankings on Google, Yahoo or Bing. There are literally 1000’s of legitimate strategies you can employ to effectively distribute & promote your world class content on the web, and they aren’t a secret. In fact, Google, Yahoo & MSN openly blog to webmasters about what’s cool and what gets you or your marketing team in hot water. At bare minimum you or someone on your team should be keeping up with Google’s Webmaster Blog here: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/
To truly dominate Search Engine Rankings over the long term laser focus your efforts on creating world class content. If your organization does not have the talent to create top notch content, spend the money to get it done properly. Choose to work with only reputable, and experienced marketing firms & or professionals that can help you ensure both your content and online marketing will have the desired long term search engine rankings. Anyone can employ short term tactics and have short term success, but only the legitimate strategies you employ will improve your search engine rankings for years to come.
Please tell me if you disagree with my experience, but this past week of my life I have seen added value at work! Yes, added value may be cliche and even an over used term, but when it is genuine it is a game changer!!! Too often I hear companies, sales people and professionals try and over deliver or add value in the same way. If I offer you the same ‘added value’ service as everyone else does, then it no longer achieves it’s purpose! Most likely, it makes me come across the exact same as my competitors, and in a competitive world that just doesn’t cut the mustard!
This week I gave away expert Internet Marketing advice to businesses who expected to be sold something. This week was a game changer, and it was all because of ‘added value’!
How do you add value in a way that differentiates you from your competition?
Section 4: How To Stay Ahead of the Curve and Profit
The internet is still in its infancy, and although blogging is here to stay it will get progressively more difficult to stand out in the crowd with a traditional blog. New and existing bloggers will not only have to innovate to stay ahead of the curve, they will have to adapt daily to the new technologies being created at the speed of light. This last and final section of ‘Traditional Blogs Are Dying’ will focus on:
What web properties to keep a close eye on to stay ahead of the curve.
How Multi Media Blogging & Social Networking is no longer an option, but a bare minimum.
Utilizing Micro blogging & the next wave of Micro Video Blogging
Profiting from the death of traditional text blogs
Web Properties You Need To Watch to Stay Ahead of the Curve
There are a select few websites that continuously stay on top of technology affecting the new blogosphere. It is imperative that you stay tuned to what these sites are not only writing about, but implementing on their own multi-media blogs and micro-blogging accounts.
If you take a little time each day to say abreast of these sites, and jump on top of implementing new technologies first, you will stay ahead of 99% of traditional blogs.
As you will see the new wave of multi-media blogs are seamlessly integrating audio, video, micro blogging and social networking.
http://www.mashable.com/ (All That’s New On The Web) This is ‘THE’ site to stay on top of social networking and new start-ups. Visit Mashable Daily or signup for daily updates, and you will stay ahead of the curve.
This will help you stay on top of WordPress, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and more…
http://lifehacker.com/ Life Hacker Blog is a great site to watch for new tips & downloads available across the web, of which many are mutli-media related.
http://scobleizer.com/ Pay attention to what Robert Scoble not only blogs about, but how he seamlessly integrates audio, video and micro blogging into his WordPress Blog.
Some Additional Sites You Should Watch
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/ Google’s Official Blog is a necessity to watch, as whenever they release new products or update features, you want to be in the know.
How Multi Media Blogging & Social Networking Are Becoming The Bare Minimum Standard
As of today, many will disagree with this Quasi-White Paper and that is to be expected. Staying ahead of the curve has always meant doing things differently than the masses.
Just think of how you consume information today, as compared to just a decade ago. Google has been around really just over ten years now, and as video technology has vastly improved in the last few years, it is quickly becoming the preferred medium online. Just look at the popularity of YouTube and other video sites. This reality is why many bloggers are choosing to innovate with audio & video to set themselves apart from traditional bloggers.
It is now easy to include Video and or audio on most major blogging platforms online; Blogger, WordPress & Live Journal just to name a few.
Here are a few links for various blogging platforms that make adding multimedia easy:
While video blogging has been around for many years already, many bloggers and companies have shyed away from the technology for various reasons; technology confusion, personal disclosure & implementation in the past have been to blame. It is now easier than ever to implement the technology, and internet users expectation of a more personal internet experience require content providers to bare their faces and voices to the masses. It is this expectation that will cause countless traditional blogs to die over the coming years. Those blogs that fail to recognize the paradigm shift to multi-media will fade into the obscure grave of millions of traditional text blogs.
Here are a few recommended resources for video & audio (podcast) blogging:
Utilizing Micro Blogging & The New Micro Video Blogging
http://twitter.com/guykawasaki Guy Kawaski has over 68,000+ people following him on the micro-blogging service Twitter. He drives millions of clicks to his traditional blog (http://www.guykawaski.com/) and anything else online he is promoting, by simply making very short micro blogging posts which are immediately seen by his interested readers.
A micro blogging post is limited to the same amount of characters that a text message on a cell phone, which is approximately 144 characters.
e.g. Guys inputs a short message online or over his cell phone, and it becomes immediately available to his followers.
Not only is Twitter micro-blogging, it is also direct communication with readers. For example I sent Guy Kawaski a question on Twitter, and with in less than 40 minutes he had responded with his answer.
Twitter is at the forefront of the micro-blogging world, and some very famous traditional bloggers have chosen to move away from the old style blog and focus on micro-blogging instead. One such example is Jason Calacanis http://twitter.com/jasoncalacanis.%20Jason’s%2040,000+ followers watch his every move and communicate with him in real time.
Twitter provides an amazing direct connection with readers that just doesn’t exist with the commenting systems on traditional blogs today (it’s coming though). It is this speed and connectivity that readers and internet users are flocking to. Bloggers today, who want to stay ahead of the curve, must integrate micro-blogging into their process.
Micro Video Blogging is Ahead of the Curve
There are two services that you will want to not only keep your eye on, but as well jump into and integrate into your process.
Seesmic brings conversation alive through video. It allows you to see and hear people share their experiences straight from their webcams.
People record a video directly on Seesmic’s website, or upload an existing video straight from their computer, or link to a video posted on a social network, then viewers respond by recording a micro video of their own.
Micro Video Blogging again can be stand alone for some, or if tightly integrated with you main site, Twitter and social networking accounts, will set you apart from the crowd and connect with readers and users in away that just is not possible with a traditional text blog.
http://12seconds.tv/ is another Micro Video Blogging service that is currently in Alpha. Keep an eye on this one, and request an invitation to join as they are not open to the public as of today.
Profiting From The Death of Traditional Blogs
The end goal was to show you or your company how to stay ahead of the curve and profit as the blogosphere makes a fundamental shift from traditional text blogging, to integrated multi-media & micro blogging. The fact is that a large majority of existing and new bloggers simply won’t make the shift. They will keep toiling away at writing great text only content, that as each day passes will get drowned out by the billions of other blog posts that go unnoticed.
So simply by adding multi-media, micro-blogging and micro-video blogging to a traditional blog, will one profit from the death of traditional blogs?
YES, you will ABSOLUTELY stand out amongst the crowd of traditional text blogs, and that alone is the first step to profiting from the death of traditional blogging. In the end, gaining more readers and more viewers, will translate into advertising sales, direct sales, affiliate sales or however you choose to monetize your site.
Is pain enough of a motivator, or is it pleasure. Think of the last big thing you have done in your life; job change, relation ship, etc. Did you act swiftly and decisively to gain pleasure or to avoid pain. There is so much power in knowing what motivates you from within. Master this skill of controlling your desire for pleasure and your avoidance of pain, which may take a lifetime by the way, and you will rarely hesitate when it counts.
What does it take for you to decide you’ve had enough?
Maybe it’s your job or business, maybe it’s your finances; maybe it’s a toxic relationship, or maybe its part of your life that is stressing you to the point of affecting your health. Either way, decisions or deciding is at the root of having enough. Yes, there are probably hundreds of factors at play when you make tough decisions, but not making a decision can always make things worse in the end. The good old sheet of paper of pros & cons has never become irrelevant. Pull out a sheet of paper and decide if you’ve had enough.
What does it take to be the best at what you do?Quite simply making the decision to be the best and motivating your self to mass action.Decide.Act.That’s what it takes!
Well here is a thought to wet your noodle. Would you even know about the economy sucking if marketing didn’t matter? Probably not, you see the media’s job is to not only pass on information in an unbiased manner (take that with a grain of salt), but to do so with POWERFULL WORDS that will catch your eyeballs attention faster than the competition. The overt headlines we read in print or hear on TV are expertly marketing the news.
Marketing matters. With out sales and marketing almost all businesses would fail over time.
“The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time.” Thomas Jefferson
I recently sent this email responding to a potential customer who turned me down for an appointment.
Hi *First Name*,
As always, thank you for your time. After your response to my meeting request, I realized something very important. When I asked to meet with you this time, I clearly didn’t offer anything of immediate and compelling value to you and your business. As time equals money, why would any smart business person give up their valuable time for a meeting of unknown proportions?
You can be sure that the next time I contact you * First Name*, I will bring an offer of compelling value to the table.Cheers, Lee
The power of hearing the word NO can cause an epiphany, of which hearing a YES usually can not! When we get too many positives or yes’s in our lives, we can become complacent and start making assumptions about the perceived value we bring to the table. We need to be turned down once an awhile to keep sharp, to keep ensuring we communicate clearly to our customers and potential clients the immediate value we bring to the table. Come to think of it, the power of NO is true for any relationship. Embrace the NO, and learn from it!
If you are like many other people on the planet, you have great intentions of sitting down at your computer and hammering out your extensive to do list, maybe set up a marketing campaign, respond to all your emails, and usually the list goes on and on.
Do you ever find you get side tracked and time just magically disappears on you?
Maybe it’s Facebook that sucked you in to a 23 minute tangent, or maybe it was that funny video link your buddy sent you that forced you at gun point to go surf on YouTube for 30 minutes.
Either way, I have found a new tool from Yahoo Widgets called Ten Plus Two that is so dead simple it works. It displays a ten minute timer on your screen and then gives you a little alarm when it runs out, then it gives you two minutes before it starts over again. They say it was designed to get up and take break every ten minutes, which is a great idea too, but I think it better suited as a consistent reminder to get back on task when you have been side tracked by mother internet.
If you don’t have Yahoo Widgets already, you’ll need to first get the Yahoo Widget Software, and then just do a quick search for Ten Plus Two. Not only will you be cured of your bad internet habits, at least until you forget to start using it, but they have about 5000 other cool widgets you just might find pretty cool as well.
I have an interesting story about shoes that might not be indicative of blogging about marketing ideas, but certainly is about customer service and pride of product.
For the longest time, I have been in love with Hush Puppy dress shoes. I wear them almost day and night and despite loving the product so much almost dropped buying the product all together because of a bad experience.When I bought my last pair of Hush Puppies about a year before my problem occurred in 2004, I told everyone. It was their most expensive shoe and I was ecstatic with their new technology, which put a cushion of air under your heel. I talked about them on the plane, at seminars, to family and friends…to absolutely everyone. They looked good and felt even better. I gave Hush Puppies so much free advertising some might have accused me of being on their payroll, I assure you I wasn’t and am not currently.
A little over a year after buying the shoes, I one day realized…hey, my feet aren’t so comfy anymore. I took off my shoe and took a look inside. In both shoes, the air cushion had collapsed and a crater had developed under each heel. I’m hard on my shoes but not that hard, and I’m not even a heavy guy. So, I was disappointed but figured it wouldn’t be a problem, just take them back and get a new pair…right?Not that easy after all.The store indicated that they only can return Hush Puppy product with in one year of purchase and you must produce a receipt, which was OK as I still had it. Strike one. I figured OK, if I contact Hush Puppies directly, they would surely recognize a manufacturing default and pony up a new pair of Puppies. Nope…after contacting Customer Service via email their response was simply to shrug me off stating that they only provide a one-year warranty on all their products. In other words, we don’t care that their may be a manufacturing default and you are out of luck. I guess some people may have stopped trying at this point, but I wanted my Puppies repaired or replaced, and I wasn’t taking no for an answer.In the mean time, I had purchased a new pair of stylish, yet comfortable jet black, slide on Rockports. They were surprisingly comfortable, but not my dear Hush Puppies. With the shoebox that my new Rockports came in, I boxed up my old Hush Puppies and shipped them to the office of the CEO of Hush Puppies, with a letter letting them know how I felt.
One of two things is going though your mind. He’s crazy … well, just a little, or brilliant. I really don’t think either are holey appropriate. The fact is Hush Puppies had a choice, they can either stand behind their product or they can leave their customer hanging, in a highly competitive market.
What did they do?
About three weeks after sending my shoes off, at the whopping cost of about eight bucks, my wife received a call from the Executive Assistant to the CEO of Hush Puppies. I happened to be on a business trip at the time but Tanya indicated that she knew why they were calling. The lady politely asked Tanya if she thought Lee would mind waiting about a month, until their new line of shoes came out, and they would ship me a brand new pair. Whoo…hooo…success! Tanya said that would be fine and that she would pass on the message to me. Tanya called me pretty much immediately after getting off the phone, as to date we have had quite a few laughs over the Hush Puppy incident.
I was elated that in the end I succeeded at achieving my goal, but was still upset that it took such great lengths to get satisfaction. This was not a case of a miser seeking a freebie, as I always believe in paying fair prices for quality; their product obviously had an “alleged” manufacturing default. Maybe it was limited to all the shoes produced on New Years Eve, who knows and who really cares.
The morale of the story is stand behind your product or service and your loyal customers will take care of you. If you don’t, they will abandon you faster than you did them.
It doesn’t matter if you are a marketer, a plumber or an actor, if you advertise your services as being no job is too small for your undivided attention, then that’s what you need to live up to. It’s a great way to make every customer feel important, of course, only if you can and will dutifully follow through on your promises.
Regardless of your market there is money to be made in small jobs, or what some might call micro sales. You just have to figure out how to keep your promises and be profitable at the same time.
Amazon has figured this out with the Artificial Artificial Intelligence (that’s not a typo), where people are profiting from services completed for as little as .05 cents. It’s called Amazon Mechanical Turk http://www.mturk.com/mturk/welcome If your business is online you’ll immediately see the value of this service!
Why can’t the local handyman who advertises ‘No Job is Too Small’ do the same?