June 25, 2008

Why I Love Blogging - From the Blog Potomac Audience

By Li Evans

Almost two weeks ago, I got the opportunity to go to Blog Potomac with Beau (Shannon) Hall, where we had a great time, but also got to shoot a lot of video interviews.  I've posted those interviews here on Search Marketing Gurus, but here's a a quick and easy to access run down of those interviews.

Love What you haven't seen yet, is the interviews of the audience at Blog Potomac.  We asked each person "So what's your name?  What's Your Blog?  and... Why Do You Love Blogging?".  The answers and response we got was amazing and it was a lot of fun to do.  I felt like I now expanded my realm of blogs to read immensely, while also wanting to make sure the SMG audience knew about all these folks where we so passionate about blogs and the topic of their blogs! 

All total there's over 25 "Why I Love Blogging" interviews, below is a list of the interviewees with a link to their individual video and to each of their blogs, so take the time and check out some of these great pieces of communication!  The range of blog topics is great from Public Relations, Environment and even Concierge Advice, you need to take a look at these blogs.

And just to highlight and give you a taste of the videos, here's Shireen Mitchell's take on why she loves blogging, she blogs about a subject near and dear to my heart, Women in Technology.

Beau and I are also putting together a few montages of these explanations of why people love blogging, stay tune to SMG for those!

June 24, 2008

Online Marketing Tips Video: Promoting Your Blog

By Li Evans

Right off the heels of Blog Potomac and SES Toronto where a lot of questions were about blogs and how to promote them, we have our Tuesday's Tips in Online Marketing.  In this edition I'm discussing some really easy, high level tips that anyone can use to help promote their blog.  From Feedburner to good old fashion word of mouth marketing, there are some simple tips you can implement to help promote your blog.


Full transcript after the jump....

Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips Video: Promoting Your Blog" »

June 23, 2008

Blog Potomac - Interview With Lionel Menchaca, Cheif Blogger and Social Media Advocate at Dell

By Li Evans

I'd been told about Lionel Menchaca of Dell by numerous people in the Social Media space.  Someone even said he was the "Rockstar" in this space.   I started looking into and reading more about Lionel and his journey with Dell as they stepped deeper and deeper into Social Media. 

At WOMMA's WOMM-U I had the opportunity to listen to Bob Pearson speak about Dell's efforts, and I had to opportunity to speak with Liana Frey about an employee's feelings about Dell's social media efforts.  Dell's taking this seriously, Dell really believes in utilizing social media to reach is customers both tech savvy and first time computer buyers.  To Dell, social media is about holding a conversation and engaging their customers, to Dell Social Media is not about links.

When I saw that Lionel Menchaca was the keynote speaker at Blog Potomac, I was really excited to actually meet him and hopefully get to talk to him at length about what Dell's doing and where they are going.  I have to say, Lionel is one of the nicest people I've ever met.  Not only that, he's passionate about social media and what Dell's doing with it. 

Thank you Lionel, for taking the time to speak with me and the SMG audience!

Full transcript after the jump....

Continue reading "Blog Potomac - Interview With Lionel Menchaca, Cheif Blogger and Social Media Advocate at Dell" »

June 22, 2008

Blog Potomac - Interview With Rohit Bhargarva, Author of Personality Not Included

By Li Evans

The night before Blog Potomac was held, there was a speaker's dinner and Rohit Bhargava was the featured speaker.  We all got a copy of his book "Personality Not Included" and he did a really cool exercise with the group that attended the dinner.

The next day, Rohit was at Blog Potomac and he obliged me with a interview.  Such a nice guy, who even endured me asking him to pronounce his last name a few times, so I could make sure I wouldn't mess it up.  Thanks for being so kind Rohit, and I still love that cover of your book.  It's next on my reading list, too!

Full video interview transcript after the jump....

Continue reading "Blog Potomac - Interview With Rohit Bhargarva, Author of Personality Not Included" »

June 21, 2008

Blog Potomac - Interview with Kami Watson-Huyse of the Communication Overtones Blog

By Li Evans

At Blog Potomac last week, I got the opportunity to do a live interview with Kami Watson-Huyse, principal of My PR Pro and owner of the Communication Overtones blog.  Readers of Search Marketing Gurus will be familiar with Kami since we did a interview with her back in October.

Kami took time out from her speaking duties at Blog Potomac to speak to us about social media's affects on public relations.

Full video interview transcript after the jump....

Continue reading "Blog Potomac - Interview with Kami Watson-Huyse of the Communication Overtones Blog" »

June 19, 2008

Blog Potomac - Interview with Geoff Livingston, Author of Now is Gone

By Li Evans

Search Marketing Gurus was video interviewing the speakers at Blog Potomac to bring you a taste of what happened at the event on June 13th, 2008 in Falls Church, VA.  In this interview, we interview Geoff Livingston of Livingston Communications, co-chair and founder of the event as well as author of the book Now is Gone.  Geoff blogs at The Buzz Bin.

Full video interview transcript after the jump...

Continue reading "Blog Potomac - Interview with Geoff Livingston, Author of Now is Gone" »

Blog Potomac - Interview with Debbie Weil, Author of the Corporate Blogging Book

By Li Evans

This last Friday I attended Blog Potomac.  It was a great social media event put on by Geoff Livingston and Debbie Weil for people in the Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia areas who wanted to get a taste of social media marketing and blogging in particularly.

I've been a fan of Debbie for quite a while, so when she agreed to do an interview with me on video, you can only imagine this fan's delight.  You can also check out Debbie's sites:  Blog Write for CEO's, The Corporate Blogging Book and DebbieWeil.com

Full interview transcript after the jump....

Continue reading "Blog Potomac - Interview with Debbie Weil, Author of the Corporate Blogging Book" »

June 14, 2008

Blog Potomac - Meeting Social Media Rock Stars You've Admired from Afar

By Li Evans

Yesterday I got the opportunity at Blog Potomac to not only meet two people I've admired from afar, but I even got a few minutes of their time to interview them. 

The first was Debbie Weil, author of the fabulous book, The Corporate Blogging Book and the blog Blog Write for CEOs.  I first read Debbie's book 2 years ago, and I still believe it holds solid, foundational information for any CEO or senior corporate executive thinking about entering the blogosphere.  I wrote a review of The Corporate Blogging Book right after I read it, silly me though, I left my copy of the book at home (I wanted her to autograph it for me).  Meeting Debbie was a great experience, her photo does not do her justice.  She's pretty and so nice, and very very passionate about blogging.  She wasn't the least afraid of my "fangirl" presence either.

Liana 'Li' Evans of Search Marketing Gurus & Lionel Menchaca of Direct2DellThe second person I got to not only meet, but interview was Lionel Menchaca.  For those unfamiliar with the social media world (beyond just searching for links), Lionel is probably "The Rock Star" of this industry.  Lionel started Dell's Direct2Dell blog and basically kick started Dell's whole foray into the social media space.  Lionel was very accommodating and we sat and talked for an hour or so about what Dell's done and where Dell's going.  Lionel not only understands the pure meaning and use of social media, he lives, breathes and works with it every day at Dell.

Now you may be wondering about these interviews I mentioned.  Well, my video guy, Shannon Hall (better know to a lot of you as "my friend Beau") and I headed down to Blog Potomac to get some video interviews with the speakers at Blog Potomac.  We also took small interviews from the attendees asking them "Why Do You Love Blogging?" which we're putting into a few montages (and no Simon, take down notices aren't allowed!).  We have interviews with Debbie and Lionel.  We also got some other interviews I'm really excited about too, ones with Kami Watson-Huyse, Rohit Bhargava and the other co-chair of the event Geoff Livingston.

Beau's working the editing of course, so it'll be midweek when we bring those interviews to you.  All of these people have such wonderful advice and great things to say.  Each interview was great, and I'll be transcribing them as well for members of the audience that have let us know they really like the transcription of our videos.

Of course you didn't think I went to this event without my camera, now did you?  Well, I've got over 70 photos from the event (Beau saved me, I forgot my battery, luckily we have the same camera).  So check out the Blog Potomac Photos in my Flickr set.

Kudos to Geoff & Debbie, as well as Josh Hallett for putting on a great event!

June 08, 2008

How Do You Find Your Audience?

By Li Evans

Boy looking for something more, Photo Credit Flickr User Poofy"I get I need to go where my audience is, but how do I find them?"

I hear that question quite often, not just in my Social Media Training Classes, but from clients and even friends who are just venturing out into this world of online marketing.  "Where is my audience, how do I find them?!"  is asked, over and over again.

The other night I was sitting in the McDonald's drive through waiting on my  fries to be handed to me, and I saw classic car, after classic car pull by and then park further up in the parking lot of this McDonald's.  By the time I got my fries and went to pull out of the parking lot, over half the parking lot was filled with bright, shiny chrome, classic, muscles cars and some antiques, too.  There was even a smaller group of souped up imports forming as well.  Then it dawned on me, I saw this happening on really warm, clear Saturday nights in the summer at this McDonald's before.

There isn't a sign promoting this congregation of car enthusiasts to come to McDonald's, and McDonald's doesn't do anything to promote it either (perhaps though they should!).  So how do these car owners who love to hang out and discuss engine blocks, chrome and how fast they can get to 60 mph know to come to McDonald's when the conditions are right?

They asked a friend.

Unless you ask, you won't find your audience.  They aren't out there with signs pointing to them saying "Hey! I'm here come talk to me!"  And one word of caution, seriously, no matter how cool an advertising agency might claim that to be in a pitch to you, don't tread down that path. 

My Dad's 1965 GTO ConvertibleAsking a friend, and receiving a response is a form of word of mouth marketing.  You are taking the recommendation of your friend to go hang out with your fully restored 1965 Pontiac GTO Convertible (AKA "The Goat") at the MickyD's and that you'll get along with the crowd there because you have something in common.  You trust your friend, how or why would he steer you wrong?

The same goes for finding your audience online.  Ask your most loyal customers!  Say you are sneaker company launching  a new soccer cleat line and you want to know what's most important in a Soccer Shoe.  Stop and ask your loyal customers "Hey we're trying to find people who love Soccer to get their opinion on helping us develop a new shoe, is there some place you go online to talk about your love of sports (or Soccer)?"

You might be amazed at the feedback. 

There are other places you can ask too.  Ask a search engine, although they don't give impassioned responses as a human would, a search engine can return a list of forums or communities related to your interested, if you ask the right way.  You can ask your blog audience, Facebook friends, or even your Twitter followers (when twitter isn't down that is) and find new places every day.

The point is, you can't expect your audience to tell you where they are.  You have to ask, if you don't ask, you'll never know that they are hanging out at the local McDonald's on a Saturday Night!

*Top Photo Credit, Flickr User Poofy
Check out the other photos in this user's photostream!

May 29, 2008

What is Your Blog Conversion Rate?

By Alex Cohen

Hi, this is Alex Cohen from Digital Alex.  Following up on Li's post about conversion rate, I have a question for the bloggers out there:  What is your blog conversion rate?

There are plenty of conversion activities you could track, but the two that stand out to me are:

  1. Subscriptions

The simplest way to monitor your conversions is with an on-click event.  It's a bit of code you add to the button or link you want to track.

For example, I have 4 conversion events tagged on my site:

  1. Subscriptions from the big RSS buttons
  2. Subscriptions from the little reader specific chiclets
  3. Clicks on the Submit button for email newsletters
  4. Sign ups from my "What Would Seth Godin Do?" plugin message (this display a special message for new visitors).

All I did was adjust the code on the link itself.  For example, here's how the on-click event looks for the Add To Google chiclet:

<a href="http://fusion.google.com/add?feedurl=http://feeds.feedburner.com/DigitalAlex" onClick="javascript:urchinTracker('/goal/chiclets');">
<img src="http://www.alexlcohen.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/google-chiclet.gif">

This essentially creates a fake page view whenever someone clicks on that link.  Notice how I named it "/goal/chiclets", so that it's easy to read and remember.

Next, I setup a goal to track each on-click event

  1. Log into Google Analytics
  2. Click "Analytics Settings"
  3. Create a new goal under "Conversion Goals and Funnels"
  4. The Match Type is "Head Match"
  5. Enter the URL, e.g. http://www.alexlcohen.com/goal/chiclets
  6. Give it a name
  7. Save the changes
  8. Wait

Then, go to Traffic Sources > All Traffic Sources.  Click on the conversion tab and, voila:


Your goals are now columns and you can see how different traffic converts!

For more about on-click tagging in Google Analytics, read this.  This is a pretty standard web analytics procedure, so ask your vendor how to do it.

Of course there are plenty of other events that you can tag and other important metrics (like repeat visitation).  Naturally, many of your "conversions" occur outside of the blog--emails from readers, job offers, invitations to speak (I'm still waiting :-)). 

How do you define and measure your blog's success? 

For Search Marketing Gurus, Alex Cohen of Digital Alex.

PS: Props to Hamlet, whose post taught me this method.

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