Monday, May 29, 2017

Essential Social Media & Blogging Advice From The Pros

Another amazing BlogPaws Conference has come and gone and I'm putting into action the valuable Blogging and Social Media advice and tips I came away with.  I'm amazed at how much helpful information was packed into just a few days!

Blogging tips from the BlogPaws Blogging & Social Media Conference
There is so much Learning packed into a BlogPaws conference! If you didn't get there this year, start planning now for next year.
Since many of you were unable to attend the BlogPaws  conference, I'd like to share some of the blogging and social media tips & learnings from Keynote Speakers, and Working Sessions.  As always, there was a TON of knowledge to absorb, so I'm breaking it into 2 or 3 posts to make it easier to digest.  I know you'd do the same for me if you were there and I couldn't make it, so here goes!


THE MOST RETWEETED PERSON IN THE WORLD


Although he spoke on the last day of the conference, I'm starting off with Keynote speaker Jay Baer who talked about what he calls Youtility, or How To Build A World-Class Personal Brand By Being Hyper-Useful.

Jay Baer is known as "The Most Retweeted Person In The World among digital marketers".  He's the President of Convince & Convert, a consulting firm who has helped some of the world's most iconic brands use technology to retain customers and win new ones.  Brands like The United Nations, Nike, 3M, and Oracle.  He is also a NY Times best selling author of five books.

Jay Baer, digital marketing expert, shares social media and blogging tips at the BlogPaws Blogger and Social Media conference.

I could immediately get why Jay is one of the most Retweeted people in the digital marketing space.  I started following him on Twitter as soon as he was announced as a BlogPaws speaker. Right away I found content that was valuable and relevant to me as a blogger.  I've shared much of his content, like this really interesting article about the FTC "crashing" the Influencer party.  Can you say FTC DISCLOSURE ?!?  Might that be relevant to us Pet Bloggers & Social Media Influencers?  Heck, Yeah!


BE MORE RELEVANT TO YOUR AUDIENCE


My Twitter example is a perfect lead in to Jay's key message, which is that We Need To Be More Relevant to our audience, because.....

Keynote speaker Jay Baer at the BlogPaws Blogging & Social Media conference. Jay shares tips on how to grow your blog audience by being more relevant
Relevancy magically creates time and attention - Jay Baer, Digital Marketing Expert
Jay's magic formula?


USEFUL = RELEVANCY = ATTENTION = $$

 THE BIG LIE


Jay pointed out a somewhat painful truth.  We tell ourselves that "our audience is just to busy to read our content" and that's how we justify not having enough action on our content.  But that isn't the case.  It's not that people are too busy, it's that our content isn't relevant enough! They'll find the time to read our content if it is relevant enough.  We should strive to be "massively useful" to our audience.  I realize that if I want to promote my blog on social media I need to be more useful and relevant in the content I'm producing.


4 DIMENSIONS OF YOUTILITY


Jay went on to explain the Four Dimensions of his Youtility model:

1. Solve Problems your audience has.
He said that Specificity creates Relevancy and cautioned us about the dangers of being too broad with our content topics.  "You won't be as relevant if you're not specific", he warns.  I know I need to take steps to stop trying to be all things to all people in the pet space and focus on the one or two areas I can be most relevant.  It's not an easy thing to do! Jay suggests we begin each day by asking ourselves "How Can I Help?" and build relevant content from there.

2. Be Consistent, STOP random acts of content.  
More is not always more and every audience has a "breaking point".   Another concept he introduced that resonated with me was to "Think like a TV station and create SHOWS, using a consistent theme and timeframe".  He suggested creating consistent Shows, and episodes of those shows.  One of the examples he shared was the Dog Rescue Stories produced by Positively Woof.  I think another "Show" that might fit his model is Kristin Avery's series The Specials, on her blog, The Daily Pip. I just love The Specials series!  This has got me thinking about ideas for Shows I can create for Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

3. Atomize Your Awesome
Release content on various channels, in similar ways. You need to be in the places where your audience is.  He shared these surprising facts:
  
😕 The Daily time spent READING in the US is 25 minutes per day.
😕 The Daily time spent WATCHING online video in the US is 72 minutes per day.
😕 People visit 39% fewer web sites than they have since 2010.

The message was clear, Repackage your content and share it across multiple channels!

4. GET PAID
This was another one of my favorite points.  Like many of you I'm often asked to work without getting paid, which frustrates me.  Jay assured us that "It's OK to get paid!".  He shared a quote that a respected individual once shared with him:


"There's no need to be nervous when your heart is in service"

I love that!  Getting paid for the work we do doesn't diminish our passion or our message when we ask to be paid for our work.  Jay pointed out that "If you get paid you can do more for your audience by creating more content, more videos... more everything!"  I wholeheartedly agree!  I would also add that when we get paid it allows us to Give Back even more to the causes each of us is most passionate about.  As bloggers and social media influencers, Jay reminds us that our role is to "Connect companies with their future customers".
  
A big Thank You to Jay for sharing his valuable insights with us!  You can watch Jay's inspiring and enlightening BlogPaws presentation in it's entirety on YouTube.  I highly recommend making the time to watch it, he shared a lot more than what I've captured here.  In addition, if you don't watch the video you'll miss his hilarious ferret story!   Here's the link to Jay's BlogPaws video presentation on YouTube




Onward to SEO Help


SEO (Search Engine Optimization) For The Beginner and SEO For The Advanced Blogger sessions, presented by Jill Caren, of 2 Dogs Media.


Jill Caren is the founder of 2 Dogs Media, a New Jersey based web development and digital marketing agency named for her two beloved dogs Ginger and Riley.  Jill has been featured in publications such as BusinessWeek, Search Engine Watch, and CIO (Chief Information Officer) magazine.  She also gives back through her social goods website, CharityPaws which helps animal rescues and charities raise funds with positive inspired apparel for animal lovers!


SEO DOESN'T HAVE TO BE SCARY


I'm the first to admit, I need a lot of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) help, and quite frankly SEO scares the heck out of me! For the first time, I attended an SEO presentation that didn't utterly confuse and frustrate me.  The last SEO class I went to left me confused, frustrated, and nearly in tears.  


Jill Caren, SEO expert teaches BlogPaws conference attendees how to get more traffic to your blog using SEO
2DogsMedia is named for Jill Caren's two dogs, Ginger and Riley.

At the conference, I pushed myself to attend Jill Caren's Beginner SEO session, and although it wasn't completely easy-peasy I was able to follow along quite well. I was surprised that I actually understood a lot of it!  I was so pleased with the Beginner session that I ended up staying for Jill's Advanced SEO session as well, and it was great! I was sure I'd be completely lost in the advanced session but I actually got a lot out of it. 



HOW SEO IS DONE


Here are some of the tips on how to grow your blog traffic and how SEO works that resonated with me the most.  I see myself definitely being able to implement many of these suggestions:

Jill started off by saying that Step 1 should be finding out what your audience wants.  She then discussed growing your blog traffic & audience organically for FREE. I'm all about free, so I was listening pretty intently!   Here are some of Jill's recommendations:

Have your own domain and host it elsewhere.  Having a secure site is also important, not just for the obvious security reason but also because many brands don't like to work with blogs or web sites that are unsecured. 

 Jill is a huge proponent of Google's WebMaster tool to monitor and analyze your blog's performance.

 It's critical that you have good Title Tags and Meta Descriptions, as these impact Click Through Rates, and therefore they impact your Google ranking.  Include keywords in your Title Tags.



Jill Caren addresses the BlogPaws conference, sharing blogging and SEO tips

 Compile 10 - 15 keywords or keyword phrases to utilize in each of your blog posts.  Keywords are something that always frustrated me.  I could never really figure out a good way to find keywords.  Jill made a few suggestions, one of which is using a tool called answerthepublic.com.  It helps you find what questions people are asking about your topic, which you can then translate into keywords and phrases.  Try to place keywords in the beginning of your post if possible. I tried it and I love this tool!  It's pretty easy to use and kind of fun too.

 She also suggested simply using Google search to find keywords. Enter your topic into Google search engine and see what populates beneath the words you've typed in.  Also scroll down to the bottom of the page to see what other related search phrases pop up.  Another easy way to find keywords!  I've done my due diligence and added keywords throughout this post using these 3 methods, let's see what happens!

 She advised having breaks within your content and using H1 and H2 header designations.  This is another easy one to implement!  As you can see I've done that here.

 Another important thing Jill talked about was site speed.  If your site is slow to load, you will not rank well!  It should only take 1 - 3 seconds to load, if it's more than this there may be a number of things slowing your site down.  She suggested using GTMetrix.com to assess the speed of your site and look for ways to improve it if needed.  I tried it with my blog and my speed is 8.4 seconds to load my 3.62MB blog page size - Yikes!!  Apparently I've got some landing page redirects, and broken links somewhere.  I've got some work to do to improve my site speed! Google is probably dinging me for this big time.

Jill posted the full SEO Session Overview from her BlogPaws SEO sessions on her web site; 2DogsMedia  It's a great recap of what she covered in both the Beginner and Advanced sessions.  You can utilize her overview as a recap for those who attended either of the sessions, or as a starting point for those who were unable to attend the conference or her sessions.

I can't wait to start putting Jay and Jill's pearls of wisdom into action for my blog! 
  

26 comments:

  1. These are definitely great tips that we should all use. For those of us who had to miss this year, thank you for sharing. ♥

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  2. You're so welcome Melissa! I'm glad you enjoyed seeing these. I missed you so much at the conference!

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  3. This is such an excellent post! I was in the SEO class, and the meta description conversation was key for me. I couldn't understand why my search descriptions were so strange! I've gone back and changed a lot of them.

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    1. I'm so glad Jill's session helped you w/ meta descriptions! That one is still a mystery for me, I have to see how Blogger handles Title Tags & Meta Descriptions and where to enter that info.

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  4. Amazing post and thanks for all the tips. I've spent too long writing what I wanted, without thinking about what people who have senior dogs may want to know about. I've been making the decisions for them. After watching Jay's keynote address on youtube I decided it was time to change my strategy, or create one while moving forward. I'm terrified of video, and not happy to read the stats regarding video vs reading (I'd much rather write)... but I may have to throw myself into the deep end and go where the peeps are. Thanks for the rest of the tips as well, will definitely be implementing more of them as I go forward.

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    1. I'm glad you found this helpful Hindy! I have to throw myself into the deep end w/ video too so I feel your pain. Marjorie from Dash Kitten has an e book on video, I need to check it out. My videos are less than inspiring, LOL!

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing such important information for those, like myself, who could not attend the BlogPaws conference! You have touched on topics that are sure to help me out in the future. I have found that your numbers "reading vs watching videos" very true. I notice I get much more viewing from sharing video. Thank you again

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    1. Thanks for saying that, I'm glad you found it helpful! My videos don't do very well, I've got some work to do there.

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  6. Glad you learned so much at the conference! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I learned a TON, as always at the BlogPaws conferences! I'm sorry you couldn't join us, maybe next year in Kansas City?

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  7. So much great information. I really wish I could have gone, but I was out climbing mountains with my husband and pups. LOL I love all of the info from Jay Baer especially. So many good points, especially about being useful. That's one of the things I've been trying to keep in mind recently with my writing. Making our content more relatable and helpful will lead to more shares and more people being helped by getting our message in front of the right eyeballs. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Debbie! I'm sure you had a blast hiking in the mountains w/ the pups. Next year's conference will be in April in Kansas City so mark your calendar! I really took what Jay said about being useful and helpful to heart, it's an important point. Your blog is definitely useful, I loved your latest post on the dog backpack - I didn't even know they made those! That's very useful info for anyone who goes camping with dogs.

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  8. I was so disappointed that I couldn't make it this year. It would have been my first conference as well as learning, I was looking forward to meeting everyone! Thank you for sharing these lessons.

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    1. I'm sorry your couldn't join us! Next year's conference will be in April in Kansas City so start planning now to be there! I hope you found these tips helpful.

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  9. I attended these two sessions as well, and they were awesome! I learned so much from both Jay and Jill, and I've already implemented many of their suggestions. I still have a long way to go though!

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    1. Weren't they great sessions!? I learned so much in both of these sessions, I loved them. I'm sorry we didn't get to spend much time chatting at the conference, it gets so hectic!

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  10. What a great recap! Thank you so much for the shout out and I really hope you are able to implement some of what you learned to help you grow!

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    1. I'm so glad you like my recap of your wonderful sessions Jill! I tried to do you justice. Thanks for all the advice and tips you shared with us, I'm so glad I went to both of your sessions! It is so helpful.

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  11. I loved Jay Baer so much!

    Thanks so much for posting your notes from SEO. I missed this session. I have a hard time with keywords and happy to know about the site where you can look up your topics. I suspect my site is slow too and has lots of broken links.

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    1. That's the hardest part, you want to go to everything but you can't! Not until we learn how to clone ourselves anyway, LOL! Keywords were the bane of my existence! I started using answerthepublic.com and it's great, so helpful. I feel confident that now I can SEO optimize my blog posts, something that has been a challenge for me for so long! I'm glad my recap is helpful for you.

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  12. I attended both of these as well, and I appreciate the recap! There was so much information at BlogPaws, and I'm so glad I finally made it to one!

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    1. I'm so glad you came to the conference Beth! It was great meeting you. I loved these sessions, they were both so helpful to me!

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  13. Bow chicka bow wow - you nailed it here. Jay Baer inspired me so much and Jill is just the queen of amazing. They both have taught me so much. I only met Jay at BlogPaws but what a dynamo. And Jill is my web person, so I highly recommend her.

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    1. Jill is pretty amazing, what a font of technical knowledge! I'm so glad I didn't avoid SEO learnings out of fear at the conference and that I took the plunge to attend both her sessions - they were fantastic and so helpful to me. Jay was super inspiring as well and very helpful. Both Jill and Jay have really got me thinking and re-evaluating some things! I'm so glad you like my summary of their wonderful sessions Carol!

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  14. It was so nice to meet you and everyone at BlogPaws. I had such a blast. Thanks for sharing, I have bookmarked to read the SEO since I had to miss that one. Too many great workshops.

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    1. It was great meeting you too, Tonya! I love the conference, it's such a great time and wonderful learning opportunity. I wish I could go to all the sessions too!

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