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September 30, 2008

Women of Internet Marketing: Stephanie Weingart

By Julie Joyce

Welcome to the latest installment in the Women of Internet Marketing Series! It's not even Wednesday but we're throwing caution to the wind...

This is my first interview for the series and I am incredibly honored to have spoken to the loveliest social media minx out there, my fellow SEO Chick and friend Stephanie Weingart. She's adorable, she does yoga, and she happens to be a fantastic writer (check out her blog, Frozen 2 Late) who is very clued into the latest in social media. What's not to love?

Stephanie and I first "met" online when she baited me, quite successfully, into doing an interview with her. I was a bit flabbergasted by her methods until I realized that, well, she'd achieved her goal...then I realized that this woman seriously knows what she's doing. It was nice to turn the tables on her for a bit.

Stephanie Q: How did you become involved in the search industry?

A: There has always been something intriguing about this industry.  I have always been interested in social media and wanted to learn more about it when I started blogging in 2001. 

Q: How can you use social media to benefit smaller clients?

A: It is important to remember that social media is as valuable as real estate.  Big and small clients need to buy up land before somebody else comes and builds condos on their territory.   Social media is the best tool for smaller clients; it gives them a voice in a crowd they would never have reached before.

Q: Do you think it's more difficult to keep up with industry trends in social media than it was a year ago? Why or why not?

A: I don't find it difficult to keep up with industry trends in social media because it is my job to know everything that is possible in social media.  However, with so much going on and the day to day changes in social media, it would be rather hard to keep up with the trends if it was not your main agenda. It is important to try to stay on top of the social media game as best as possible though because you never know when the next Twitter is going to pop up.

Q: Tell us about a successful social media campaign that you've run…what made it work? What made it fun? How did it benefit the client?

A: At Morpheus we work with a lot of fun clients who allow us to really come up with and implement creative campaigns.  I'm very thankful for the opportunity because there are very little restrictions as far as what we can and cannot do.  The greatest campaigns I have been a part of thus far are a few blogger events, where we create opportunities for bloggers to interact with clients in special ways.  It benefits everyone because bloggers should be taken seriously (no matter how big or small) and when they get the respect they deserve, they are so grateful to the clients.

Q: How important is it to be "visible" in the industry these days?

A: Well for marketers, I think it is important to be visible but not to show off.  I see too many marketers really making fools of themselves. There is a really thin line between Social Media professional and over-exploited clown.  Clients, brands, and companies should be very visible in the industry, however they should also be active.  Just buying social media profiles and parking in spaces does not make a brand effective in social media. 

Q: How does link building fit into social media? Does PPC fit in at all with what you do? 

A: Link building and social media are best friends. Link building definitely prospers when blogger outreach is conducted.  Building the right relationships will also build the right links.  PPC is not a part of what I do, but it is all interconnected at some point.

Q: Have you used any "questionable" techniques in social media?

A: I chose to use a really holistic approach to social media tactics.  I actually maintain relationships that are built based on social media. I really dislike when I get random IM's and "random" social media type requests from people who don't really take the time to maintain a social relationship with me. I understand it is the nature of the business but I think that everyone would benefit from taking a more organic approach. The only downfall is that really putting in this type of work is time consuming but fun!

Q: What industry trend leaves you cold and why?

A: There is so much that leaves me cold.  As I said before, I am really sick of marketers who brag and exploit themselves.  I think that if you are a marketer and your work is good, you will be complimented.   Also, I am a little bit turned off by industry blogs lately.  It is getting really difficult to come up with fresh posts and it seems like people are getting really desperate and will post pictures of their babies with Danny Sullivan's head photoshopped on just for link bait.  A lot of value is being lost.

Q: What is the best part of your workday and why?

A: The best part of my workday is definitely being creative and brainstorming ideas for crazy and fun social media campaigns for my clients.  I also enjoy lunch.

Q: What advice would you give to young women trying to make a name for themselves in SEO right now?

A: My best advice for young women to try to make it is to work really hard and accomplish great things in SEO or social media first before you go out and talk a lot of nonsense.  Also, try to find other SEOs who inspire you and ask them for advice or to be their intern.  It is a constant learning process; the game never ends and we can all learn from each other.


..Now for the fun ones...

Write a poem about your favorite SEO Chick, who is obviously Julie Joyce. Ahem.

Before I really knew about SEO
I did my research, just so you know
I read a blog written by hot chicks
And subscribed to the feed to get my fix

But one chick stood out
She was more awesome than the rest
Her name, Jule Joyce, SEO Goddess

After learning and idolizing, I chose to reach out
Not knowing what I was doing, I gave her a shout
and blogged a funny post on my little blog

Julie was flustered, who was this little minx?!
I got her attention and she started to think
It was no time at all
She invited me in the group!

The chicks let me post and share my voice,
But I could not have done it without Julie Joyce!

Q: Which do you prefer, men in kilts or men in khakis?

A: I am not a fan of either! I like guys who have style that represents their personality.

Q: If you had to choose 5 female SEOs to do a pub crawl with, who would they be and why?

A: If I could only chose FIVE amazing SEO women to do a pub crawl with, they would be Lisa Ditlefsen, Jane Copland, Julie Joyce, Danielle Winfield, and Judith Lewis.  I would probably need more than 5 Female SEOs to party with!!!

Q: If you could take the job of any high-profile SEO, forcing him or her to work at Denny's, who would it be and why?

A: This might sound lame but I wouldn't trade my job for anyone else's.  I really enjoy all of my clients and my work and wouldn't want to ever have anyone else's work.

Q: Why does Lisa Ditlefsen always look so amazing in photos?

A: Lisa DItlesfsen emits an aura of happiness at all times.  I have never seen a bad picture of her.  When people are genuinely happy in their photos they will look great...and It doesn't hurt that she is also stunning.

Well there you have it, with only a TINY bit of arm-twisting on my part, really. Thanks to Stephanie for letting me interview her! (Like she really had a choice...)

September 23, 2008

5 Ways to Chase Away Writers' Block

By Li Evans

Dealing with writer's block, out and out right sucks.  I don't think I'm alone, I'm sure many of you who are fellow bloggers have been here at least once, right?

You've probably notice the sparse writing here for the last two weeks.  While there are other writers here on SMG, I tend to be the constant here and the voice most heard.  Sometimes I feel like there's too much of "my voice", and it makes me feel like I need to step back.

The past two weeks, I come to the page to write a post and I just stop, blocked, waiting for the idea to pour into my fingers, trying to force it to magically appear here on the screen in front of me, yet, it doesn't.  It gets frustrating, completely and utterly frustrating.

So what's a person to do to stimulate the ideas, find enlightenment, or search our inspiration?   There's many suggested ways of dealing with writers block, but perhaps some of these suggestions I just feel they aren't for me.  For the past two weeks, I've been trying different things that pull me out of my regular elements, of day to day thinking to start to look at things from different angles.  I've been jotting down notes, making post-its and trying to keep those ideas fresh, so here's 5 of my better attempts that have generated some new creative ideas for me.

  1. Watch Your Parents or Grandparents Use the Internet
    Yeah, yeah - maybe we need a break from it to start with?  Maybe not, maybe what we need is a different perspective.  Sit and show your parents, aunts, uncles, or grandparents how to use the internet.  You, yourself will probably become amazed at what you take for granted as "knowledge".  You also might be inspired to find a particular angle to write about something.
  2. PA Ren Faire - Jester PlayerGo to a Ren Faire
    OK, probably not so far out of my own element, as August through October I'm at the PA Ren Faire for a lot of weekends.  I find it refreshes my creativeness.  Watching the "players" in character, never breaking, and seeing how it's all about the Renaissance period, and not my own time period gets my creative juices flowing.
  3. Take a Hike
    Literally!  Get out of your house, away from a computer and take a hike.  When I need to "recharge", I head to Hawk Mountain Bird SanctuaryThis is my own sanctuary.  Sitting on top of a mountain, the towns below looking so small and picturesque, the wind blowing, the sun shining tends to let my mind go drifting to things and places I normally don't during my hectic days of client calls and projects.  It also helps when you see a few bald eagles making their migration southward, too.
  4. Sign Up For Something New
    Last year, I signed up to be on a bowling league.  I also signed up for flight lessons.  The bowling lasted longer than the flight lessons (small planes/claustrophic don't mix well).  Bowling may sound corny, but I find that it gives me time away to look at things through others eyes.  I'm contemplating taking dance classes - ballroom, salsa, foxtrot, and no, Dancing with the Stars isn't on my TiVO list.  When you take yourself out of the norm, and place yourself into an entirely new situation, you cannot help but look at things differently - and it can inspire you.
  5. Help Out in Your Community
    Whether it's volunteering at the Library, putting up new garbage cans on the main street, volunteering to coach a girl's softball team, by giving of yourself, I feel it gives back tenfold.  You can always find an anecdote, a lesson to be taught, a cute story, a fun photo or even hilarious video that can be shared, or written about in a way that relates to your audience.

Have they helped me?  Well, we'll see, in the next couple of days, there should be a bit more blogging going on coming from my fingers.

How about you?  Have any suggestions for stimulating those creative juices?

September 05, 2008

Fun Friday Photos: Jim Boykin & David Temple at WebMaster Radio's SearchBash

By Li Evans

Well in digging through my photos from the spectacular WebMaster Radio SearchBash at SES San Jose this year, I discovered that not all of my photos uploaded to the set!  I was missing 60+ photos from that group of photos!  Including this week's Fun Friday Photo of SMG's very own David Temple and Jim Boykin of We Build Pages.

So after you are done looking at these two handsome chaps, go take a gander at the other 60+ photos I've just added to the WebMaster Radio SearchBash 2008 set, there's now over 280 photos there.

Jim Boykin & David Temple at the WebMasterRadio.fm Search Bash at SES San Jose

If you like this photo of Jim Boykin & David Temple at the WebMasterRadio.fm Search Bash at SES San Jose, feel free to comment and favorite it on Flickr, Sphinn or Fetch this photo as that's how we'll be judging the photos at the end of the year! Check out the rest of the fun at SES San Jose 2008, there's just over 200 photos in that set and there's over 280 photos in the WebmasterRadio.FM Search Bash photo set.

September 02, 2008

Republicans Miss Out Big for Sarah Palin in Online Marketing

By Li Evans

When Not Owning www.SarahPalin.com Can Cost You Votes

On Friday, I was as shocked as probably the rest of the country when John McCain chose a total dark horse for his Vice Presidential nominee.  Sarah Palin is a virtual unknown in political circles outside of her home state of Alaska, where she presides as Governor.

However, after the initial shock wore off, I put on my online marketer thinking cap and I went to work trying to find out more about Sarah Palin.  Other than the official Governor of Alaska bio, there's not much "official" stuff out there.  She doesn't even have her own domain name showing up in the results on the search engines.

I then went to www.sarahpalin.com and below is a screen cap of what I got.

Screen Capture of www.sarahpalin.com

So you get a 403 Forbidden error, nice job there McCain's team!  I went a step further to see if they just haven't moved fast enough to redirect her domain over to www.johnmccain.com like the democats have done for Joe Biden's website - www.joebiden.com now redirects over to www.barakobama.com (Barack Obama's official site), with a special page announcing he's the vice presidential nomiee for the democratic ticket.  Unfortunately speed or even techincal glitches aren't the problem here for the Republicans.

Continue reading "Republicans Miss Out Big for Sarah Palin in Online Marketing" »

Fun Friday Photos: John Carcutt, Loren Baker & Darrell Long

By Li Evans

I scheduled this photo to go live for Friday, right before I left to "unplug" for the holiday weekend.  Apparently I forgot to switch it out of "draft" mode and here this photo sat all weekend, so my apologies.

I found these 3 handsome chaps just lounging around at the Yahoo Booth on the expo hall floor at SES San Jose.  I got a smile out of John Carcutt (left) and Darrell Long (right), but poor Loren, I just don't know if he was shocked at my camera not flashing or what.  Regardless, I thought this was a nice photo of the SearchEngineJournal crew (at least that's what I'm calling them).

John Carcutt, Loren Baker & Darrell Long at the Yahoo Booth at SES San Jose

If you like this photo of John Carcutt, Loren Baker & Darrell Long at the Yahoo Booth at SES San Jose, feel free to comment and favorite it on Flickr, Sphinn or Fetch this photo as that's how we'll be judging the photos at the end of the year! Check out the rest of the fun at SES San Jose 2008, there's just over 200 photos in that set and there's over 200 photos in the WebmasterRadio.FM Search Bash photo set.

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