• Subscribe to this RSS feed
  • Receive updates as soon as they are posted.

This blog has been rewritten.  Please read take 2.

This is just a quick list of steps to go through to get the most from your blog.  I’ll expand on these steps later, but wanted to get them up so that everyone else on here can get their accounts going.  Please ask any questions that you have on these steps so that I can make sure to write a more complete tutorial based on your input.

Here are the steps to go through to get the most distance out of your blog.

1. Create a blog name
2. User your real name (or keywords for your name)
3. Add a professional picture to your profile
4. Write 5 blog posts
5. Add your blog to Technorati
6. Add your blog to feedburner
7. Create a facebook account
8. Add your blog to facebook
     a. Click Profile
     b. Click on settings (its to the far right next to “All Posts”
     c. Click on “Automatically import activity”
     d. Click on “Blog/RSS”
     e. Paste in your URL to your RSS feed to your blog
9.  Create a google blog on blogger.com
10.  Syndicate your blog to your google blog
11. Create an account on LinkedIn.com
12. Add your blog feed to your LinkedIn Profile
13. Create a profile on friendfeed.com
14. Add your blog feed to friendFeed.com
15. signup for “add this” and add it to your content in your side bar for easier syndication

 For more information (or just a better rewrite of this post), please check out take 2.

 

January 24 , 2009 | | In: Technorati

Technorati – Posting to for Syndication

Technorati Profile

Later I will explain this post.  I’m leaving it up because I would like people to see the need for syndication, and if you truly want to be successful within the social web, you will need to follow a series of steps.

I’ll outline those steps at a later date.

 

This is the final post in a series about blogging your personal brand. I’ve written a post for beginners, as well as intermediate and advanced users. Please review those posts before reviewing this one.

1) Podcast your brand on your blog

Whenever I talk about podcasts, I typically think of video, but many bloggers choose to record their voice or an interview through the telephone or a voice recorder and then publish it. You can do the same and there are services that will aid in the publishing process, such as PodBean.com. Audio podcasts are great for people who are scared to show their face or are in situations where they don’t have the necessary equipment to shoot video.

Video is the best way to interact with your audience, especially if you’re charismatic and personable. People can get a sense of you from reading your posts, tweets and social network messages, but when it comes to real interaction and emotional connection, video is king. Purchase a webcam or a video camera and hook it up directly to your computer using a USB connection. If you want to be a professional, and possibly interview other people for an internet type show, then you may want to buy a microphone, a sound amplifier and possibly an HD video camera (they cost less than $1,000 now).

Then you’ll want to get the video on the top video sharing websites in the world. To do this, all you need to do is upload it on TubeMogul, using the name, description and keywords that you feel will be optimize the video for search engines (as well as the video sharing search engines). TubeMogul will put your video on YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler, and more.

Finally, you’ll want to use the embed code from the video on either sharing site to use on your blog. You can either post the video as a blog post or decide the transcribe it, in addition to placing the video on the post.

2) Lifecasting

The two best “lifecasting” sharing sites are Qik and UStream.tv. I recommend getting comfortable doing audio or video podcasting before you decide to do live video. When it comes to live video, you have to be authentic, and be cautious as to what you say and do. When you sign-up for one of these services, you are given your own branded web page, where you can use your phone or your webcam to film yourself or other people. While you are lifecasting, people can view this page and see you live, while having the ability to type messages to you. It’s your ability to get to know your audience more and visa versa.

The end result of your time spent lifecasting is a video recording that you can embed on your blog as a post. If you choose to do this, you should give a summary of how your session went!

3) Start your own mailing list

If you want to start a mailing list, then make it different than your blog. A lot of the best bloggers use mailing lists to give their most loyal subscribers additional tips and strategies for signing up. Typically, your readers or viewers that care enough about you and your material will signup for your mailing list to receive more content. Before starting a mailing list, you should think about how busy you are and if you’re able to spend time on such a project. Also, you’ll want to decide how many emails you want to send in a specific period of time and the value that list will receive.

Your mailing list and blog should market each other, which means you’ll want to add links to cross-promote both and any other products or services you want to sell. I recommend the following three email marketing services for your mailing list: iContact, Get Response and Contact Contact. For an example of how a newsletter is attached to a blog, please review Shoemoney’s blog.

4) Place advertisements

There are many different kinds of advertisements you can place on your blog to drive revenue (passive income). Before you start calling, emailing and Facebook’ing possible blog sponsors, you’ll want to create an advertising page on your blog, so people can see the sizes of the ads, what they’ll be receiving in terms of traffic/subscribers and the different options and packages you have.

To find advertisers, you should Google terms relating to your blog and click on company’s that are paying for AdWords. You can also find good sponsors by emailing people who comment on your blog and through natural (organic) search. Email them your pitch and then a link to your advertising page, so they can make a quick decision.

I’ve seen a few different kinds of advertisements on blogs:

  • Text links
  • 125/125 graphic (possibly animated)
  • 468×80 header banner
  • 180×180 single post banner
  • Product / website review posts
  • Sponsored blog posts

You should charge based on your monthly visitor stats, feed subscribers and overall blog credibility and reputation. If you want to see how much traffic you’re bringing in, I recommend Quantcast. Alex Shalman has a great advertising page on his blog if you want an example.

5) Setup an affiliate program

Affiliate marketing is an Internet-based marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s marketing efforts. You only get paid for when you people click on advertisements on your site and pay for a company’s products or services.

There are many affiliate programs out there, such as Amazon Associates and Yahoo! Affiliate Programs. Don’t expect huge returns unless you already have a lot of inbound traffic to your website. The money you make from affiliate programs (possibly with other bloggers) will help fund your ongoing blog initiatives and upkeep. If you have deeper interest in affiliate marketing, then you should visit Zach Johnson’s blog.

6) Poll your readers

As a blogger, you should be interested in what your readers think of your blog, the types of posts you’re doing and any topics they would like to learn more about. Also, you may just want to poll them to gather quick feedback, to measure your success or out of curiosity. The best poll service for blogging is Polldaddy, which is actually integrated into WordPress.com now.

7) Build a team blog

A team blog is a blog that has multiple authors. The are a lot of benefits of having multiple contributors to your blog, such as having a variety of voices, more content and saving your time for other purposes, such as marketing the blog. If you’re an expert blogger, you should have a strong network of fellow bloggers to select for your team blog. Using WordPress, you give bloggers permission to write entires and then submit them for your review. You should give them the right to use their avatar, name and a link to their own blog.

I’ve seen team blogs with over 10 authors and they are highly successful. Blogs like Mashable, TechCrunch and The Huffington Post have a lot of bloggers, which allows them to become more of a business media site. You can do the same!

8 ) Use your blog at a platform

A blog can lead to bigger and better things. The most notable are speaking engagements and consulting gigs. By showcasing your interest in receiving those opportunities, you are more likely to garner them. So setup pages with those titles on your blog and if you’ve spoke or consulted in the past, use endorsements, video and a topic outline to show people what you’re made of.

You can also use your blog to sell more of your products, services and introduce people to other sites you own. Your blog will allow you to promote anything you want!

9) Write an eBook / book

After writing hundreds of blog posts, you will naturally want to tie your writings into a book of some sort. Some of you will try and get a literary agent and a publishing deal in order to get your ideas out there, while others will draft an eBook that captures many of your posts. You can sell the eBook and market it on your blog. If you’re interested in having a physical book, you’ll want to have more original content for that, but the eBook doesn’t have to always be original.

10) Start more blogs

When a single blog (or team blog) isn’t enough, you can always start multiple blogs. Obviously, it’s going to take up even more of your time, so think through your current situation before you make the jump. There aren’t too many bloggers who are willing to have yet another blog to build content for. The one’s that do, usually do it on a completely different topic to satisfy their other passion.

Intuitive Media Designs is perfect for any web work.

Personal Branding

This is the third post in a series about blogging your personal brand. I’ve written a post for beginners and one for intermediate users. Please review those posts before indulging in this one.

1) Host your own blog

Instead of borrowing someone else’s space and redirecting your domain name to that space, you have the ability to install WordPress on your own host. In January, I’ll be switching over to PersonalBrandingBlog.com instead of my PersonalBrandingBlog.wordpress.com because I want to own my blog entirely, have more control over the page elements, make money and turn it into a larger property. Advanced personal branding bloggers should strive to make the switch and not freak out about losing content or subscribers. As long as you are using Feedburner.com for your RSS feeds and have exported your content, you should be all set. The only issue you’ll have is that you will lose “Google juice” to your previous site.

For instructions on how to successfully install WordPress on Godaddy, please go here. If you want to save money on your Godaddy domains and host, please go here and remember to choose “Linux” hosting.

2) Select or design a unique theme

There are literally thousands of WordPress themes across the net built by some savvy professional designers and programmers. You might not have the funds or expertise in order to get a custom blog template made, but there are free themes floating around as well. When you start researching and discovering themes that you enjoy, remember that some themes are geared for specific purposes. For instance, there are “magazine themes” for people who have teams of content contributors, covering various categories. You want to not only select the best looking theme, but one that you can handle using.

If you perform a Google search on “top wordpress themes,” you should have more than enough to choose from.

3) Choose plugins

After selecting a theme, you will want to install a few necessary plugins. They will help enable people to share your content (more traffic and subscribers), as well as make your blog more interactive. Here are my favorite plugins:

  • Akismet is a spam filter that checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they are spam or not, also checks the trackbacks for spam.
  • Sociable enables small icons from various social bookmarking sites (like Digg, del.icio.us, reddit, etc) under the posts on many blogs, so people can share your content freely.
  • Get Recent Comments gets the excerpts of the latest comments on your blog and displays them on your sidebar
  • Popularity Contest is a very useful plugin that lets you automatically highlight your best posts to your readers.
  • Related posts generates a list of related posts based on the text of blog entry.
  • Subscribe To Comments allows readers to receive notifications of new comments that are posted to an entry.
  • Twitter Updater automatically sends a Twitter status update to your Twitter account when you create, publish, or edit your WordPress post.

For more plugins, please go to the WordPress main page.

4) Integrate your social networks

As an advanced user, you better be on social networks. Since everything in social media is considered a list, you’ll want to leverage your blogs success to increase the readership of your other properties. This may include your accounts on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, SlideShare, Upcoming, Delicious, Stumbleupon, Digg, Flickr or FriendFeed. There are thousands more, and you should promote only the top 5-10 that you use the most often. If you include too many, people will completely tune them out and if you include too few, it will seem like you aren’t a power user.

Use either text or graphics to promote these profiles. For icons, please go here.

5) Search engine blog optimization

Search engine optimization for your blog is critical for a number of reasons. First, everyone uses search engines to learn about new things. Second, search engine ranking showcases authority. Finally, having individual posts ranking high can help build the brand of your blog. Your goal is to rank number one for your name, as well as your topic. Think about the keywords that reflect your topic and use them throughout your headline, subheadings and body. Use links within your posts to link to other posts you’ve written and try as hard as you can to write good enough content that people will link to it.

There’s also a WordPress plugin called “All in One SEO Pack,” which will help you optimize your posts for search engines. It helps to own a domain name with the keywords you want to rank high for, as well as a blog title that reflects those same keywords.

6) Try a few different types of posts

There are many different types of posts you can have on your blog. Experimenting with a variety of posts keeps people guessing and interested in your blog. You could scrape the blogosphere or a traditional news site for an interesting fact or article, then quote it and respond to it in a post. You could also email a few bloggers, asking them all the same question, such as “what is your prediction for 2009, and formulate a blog post around their answers. You could become the aggregator of news for a specific topic and links your five favorite blog posts of the week. A series of posts around a theme, such as this post, tends to work well too.

7) Allow someone to guest blog

As an advanced blogger, you are given the right and hopefully the authority, to reach out to other bloggers and give them the opportunity to guest post. As your blog becomes more popular, people may just come to you and ask to guest post, but when you are in infancy, you will have to be pro-active. The benefits of a guest post on your blog are that you save time from writing a post, it’s a great way to network with other bloggers and it’s a new voice on your blog.

8 ) Interview your favorite blogger

I’ve interviewed close to 100 people on this blog. It’s the single best networking tactic I’ve used in my entire life. I couldn’t have done it until I was a more advanced blogger though because I needed a promise of value to other people. You’ll want to interview people who are more successful than you are or that can provide some knowledge in an area where you aren’t an expert. You can do the interviews by either phone, through email or in-person (video). It’s really up to you and depends on your schedules.

9) Get ranked

A great way to gain visibility for your blog is to get ranked. There are a number of different sites that rank blogs out there, such as the AdAge Power 150, the Junta 42, the Viral Garden’s Top 25 Marketing & Social Media Blogs, the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards, and the Big List of SEO Blogs. There are tons more, but these are the ones I’m most familiar with in the blogosphere. The purpose of submitting your blog to these lists is that you get added visibility and there’s an opportunity cost if your site isn’t on them.

10) Form content partnerships

If you don’t have partnerships with other websites, you are really missing out because your content will be isolated in one specific area. Every time I post, it ends up in Reuters, Hoovers, Chicago Sun-Times, Forbes, Brazen Careerist, CollegeRecruiter.com, HRM Today, Social Media Today, Marcom Professional, Sign-on San Diego, The Examiner, and Packets Online. Obviously forming these relationships took a long time, but they give my blog more credibility and my posts more movement. Just like submitting byline articles to magazines, you want to start small and work your way up. Research your topic area to find websites that might want to syndicate your blog and reach out to them accordingly.

Sprint inadvertantly released the new Treo Pro before it was ready. 
It looks pretty cool and is running windows mobile 6.1.  Unfortunatley it sounds like it hasn’t been fully tested with their system, so they can’t release it yet.  It has a full keyboard, which is really nice for those tactile sensitive users that prefer a button keyboard instead of a touchscreen keyboard.  And since it it running a windows based OS, it will be compatible with the hundres of thousands of of applications that already exist for windows based phone and will be very friendly for corporate users looking to have access to their files while on the go.  Little known to all those iPhone users, there are actually more applications and a larger variety of applications available for windows based smart phones.  I look forward to a full release where we’ll be able to read more details as to the features of this new phone and how it will compete with the growing number of media rich smart phones flooding the market.

Here is what Sprint had to say.

“Sprint inadvertently posted information on Sprint.com regarding an upcoming product, Palm Treo Pro, this morning. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Sprint looks forward to welcoming this exciting, new device into our portfolio as soon as it has been approved through our customary testing process. We will share details on the correct availability date as soon as the standard testing of both the device and its interaction with our network has concluded. Thank you for your interest in Sprint products.”

 Here is a picture of the upcoming phone.

January 23 , 2009 | | In: align, CEO, CIO, duties, IT Director, Manager, responsibilities

What does a CEO want

Top manager, directors, and officers around the world are constantly asking themselves, what does the CEO want?

This can be tough, sometimes, from an IT perspective.
Nobody said the CEOs want server logs or firewall dashboards or virtualization tutorials. What they want is inspired leadership, customer-focused innovation, and a relentless business focus that makes cash flow more than just some vague concept that one of the beanies from accounting is always talking about but nobody ever listens to.

Everyone seems to be talking about alignmend now a days.  But you need to go beyond alignment.  Alignment is step one.  Too often IT departments / divisions are just cost centers, with high maintenance costs.  But you you start to analyze the needs of the company, you can start aligning IT with the company.  Then you can step beyond alignment to the true nature of the beast.  IT leaders need to be envolved with the day to day workings of the company, otherwise they won’t be able to recognize the needs of the company, and won’t be able to take IT to the next level with the company.  IT will slowly drag the company down, rather than helping to push it further.

Perhaps these two bromides summarize the overarching nature of the stance and attitude CEOs want their IT leaders to take to heart:
Demonstrate forceful leadership and take responsible ownership. CEOs want IT leaders to be assertive and forward-looking, not reactive and inward-looking; and yes, CEOs want their IT leaders to be “thought leaders,” as McKinsey posited, but I think it goes beyond that: CEOs want their IT leaders  to lead not only with their thoughts but also with their actions. That means a whole lot of skin in the game, that means expanded responsibilities and accountability — and all of that means more opportunity as well, for the company and for the CIOs who can handle it.

Don’t align, and don’t whine. As discussed last week, the concept of “alignment” was fine for another time but it doesn’t fit the highly fluid times we’re in today. If you stick with the alignment thing, you’re always going to be told what to do, told how to follow up, and told that it would probably make sense to flush your department and hire an outside outfit that specializes in this stuff. If that happens, don’t whine — you’ve given up that right.

If you are a true IT leader, you need to take the bull by the horns and speak up about the direction that IT is going with the company, and show the true value of technology.

 

Most people have probably checked out www.WhiteHouse.gov at some point in their internet days, and found a dull site that was difficult to navigate.

With the inaugoration of Obama, web 2.0 and a whole new face has come to www.whiteHouse.gov. The new site has a section called “the BRIEFING ROOM”, which includes a blog and a weekly video address to the people.  It will be intresting to watch how well this site is kept up over the next 4 years.

As companies across the US are strugling to find ways to add new life to their business, I think that the new white house website has met that challenge.  Everyone is trying to embrace technology, but you can’t add new features and technology just for the sake of change.  There needs to be a balance, and you need to be sure that your new technology advances are married to your business direction.  IT needs to support your company’s directives to be leveraged as a profit center, and not just a cost center.

With this example, maybe we will see more companies adopt web 2.0 utilities to support their plans.  These tools can be powerful resources in communicating with your customers.

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