Content Shock

Let’s fast forward one more time to 2014 and look at the two factors that impact the economics of content marketing — the amount of content available and the amount of content consumed (supply and demand).

Of course the volume of free content is exploding at a ridiculous rate. Depending on what study you read, the amount of available web-based content (the supply) is doubling every 9 to 24 months. Unimaginable, really.

However, our ability to consume that content (the demand) is finite. There are only so many hours in a day and even if we consume content while we eat, work and drive, there is a theoretical and inviolable limit to consumption, which we are now approaching.

This intersection of finite content consumption and rising content availability will create a tremor I call The Content Shock. In a situation where content supply is exponentially exploding while content demand is flat, we would predict that individuals, companies, and brands would have to “pay” consumers more and more just to get them to see the same amount of content.

Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy – Schaefer Marketing Solutions: We Help Businesses {grow}.

My comment:

You’re talking about what is mainly regurgitated content, repeated from one blog to the next and the next and then shared on social media too. There is still a “market” for fresh and original content – something which has not been duplicated and repeated and made to suit the almighty Google.

Niche blogs from people who actually are a source of information, an authority on their topic and artists who still create something of their own will still have readers.

The problems will be copyrights, not having content ripped off (shared without permission). With so many content marketers, content curators, social media and Google rank obsessed people it is not so hard to get original content picked up and shared around. The hard part is keeping the source link (the artist’s link) with the content.

There is a lack of original content and the marketers are quick to dive in when they actually find something unique because it is becoming harder to find something that hasn’t already been shared and overshared.

How can you Help Another Blogger

Do your good deed for the day. You don’t have to be a popular blogger, an experienced blogger or spend a lot of time on giving another blogger a little help. This list comes from the SITS Girls forum.

Write a high quality guest post that will be useful to another blog’s readers

Leave helpful and insightful comments

Link to the blog and share your readers with them

Promote the blog in social media and start a social bookmarking campaign for them

Recommend to your readers to subscribe to their blog

Email the blogger with some suggested topics you’d love to see them cover

Introduce them to a potential advertiser

Share with them an affiliate program that has worked for you

Write an email telling the blogger how you found one of their posts helpful.

Perform a significant action for another blog. Don’t just leave a comment on 50 blogs; focus your energy on one other blog in your niche.

Trading in SEO for Social Media

When you write a new blog post, or create a new blog (site), you should write, add the visuals and then edit before publishing. Then we would have focused on SEO, being pleasing to search engines. This seems to have changed in the last year or less. Now, it’s not SEO we work at but social media, link sharing and getting attention and content reposted to social media sources, like Twitter (my own favourite).

SEO (aka search engine optimization) has lost it’s crown. I won’t miss it. I never did like the phoniness and under-handedness of stacking a post with keywords in every possible nook and cranny. It was icky.

Social media has it’s moments of ickiness too. I especially don’t like how social media has turned the word friend into a meaningless word. A friend should be someone you like, not in a Facebook like way, but really actually like and enjoy their company, care about their day and… know something more than the name they use online.

However, social media does mean people have more say in the content that does become popular. It is not left up to stacks of keywords picked up by a web crawling spider bot – now there are real people who choose which information they pass along to their followers/ friends. The problem is still the amount of spammers/ commercial and business types who pass along garbage content – often content they have not even read or clicked through to be sure the link is active, working and not spam (or porn).

So, social media has it’s drawbacks too. But, at least it’s human powered. The marketing gurus seem to think a touch of being human is important for better sales. What a concept.

The Women of WordPress and Women Blogging

women blogOnce upon a time women formed groups to find each other online. Now, there are a lot of us wandering around, developing websites and blogs but the main groups for women online are about Mommy bloggers.

Not every woman is a Mother and not every woman wants to focus on her family when she’s thinking about writing, creating, maintaining and promoting her website. But, we all want to learn how to do it better. Many of us like to learn from other women. I do.

I can learn from anyone but there is a nice feeling to find out the person who wrote the tutorial I’ve been reading or the book I picked out at the store, is a woman. Someone who is likely to see things the way I do myself, someone who has a similar perspective to myself.

WordPress Book Writers, Tutorial Makers, Web Developers and Site Designers

Women of Blogger (and Beyond)

WordPressGroups for Women Bloggers

How to Pick a Better Password

Pick a better password so you won’t have your online email and social media accounts taken over and used by spammers or hackers.

Pick a Pickled Password…

A password for your email account (and other accounts like social media, etc.) should be an unusual word or phrase which you can remember. In the middle of the word, or phrase, stick in a few numbers.

Don’t make it too complicated. You want something you won’t forget.

But, don’t make it too simple. A computer is going to try random words and numbers to try guessing your password. So you don’t want to use a word from the standard dictionary and you don’t want to use numbers like your date of birth or any ID you carry around with you.

Examples of Passwords

bac347kbacon
screwed434driver
pickled490peepers

Being a Web Writer

ASCII art computerYou’ve always wanted to be a writer, see your name in print and become known as a source of information on your particular topic. Well, welcome to the Internet. It’s a smorgasbord for writers in here, especially if you can work for low pay awhile.

Now don’t look shocked. There are advantages to writing online, even without getting paid much for your time and trouble. Not that you should go crazy and spread yourself too thin. But, consider the points in favour before you slam the door.

First, you are not likely to be rejected.

As long as you have some skill with words, watch your grammar, spelling and punctuation, you are pretty much assured of finding a place to write online. I’ve even seen some pretty horrible prose published on freebie websites. So, in fact, no matter how badly you write, somewhere there is a byline for you. However, your chances of getting to the better known sites depends on your level of writing ability.

Secondly, you can become almost an instant authority on your topic of choice.

If you want to pull it off make sure you do some research, above and beyond what you already know from personal experience. Talk to others in the field, make contacts, do interviews, get fresh ideas and perspectives to add to your knowledge base. This will also keep your articles fresh and interesting for readers, always a big plus.

Thirdly, you will make contacts and promote yourself as a writer.

Whether you write fiction or non-fiction getting your name out there is important and a huge advantage. Maybe writing for a freebie website is a lowly credit but it’s still something you can show for yourself. It is still a step you have taken rather than hiding under your safe rock and wishing you were a writer. Promote yourself too, get links to other sites, add an email signature to your outgoing email, etc. You’re a writer now!

Last of all, being a web writer keeps you writing.

How do you become a better writer? By writing of course. Practice, learn better spelling, work on your grammar and punctuation as you go. Each week you can learn something new to make you a better writer. Learn by doing and study language arts.

Now, where do you go to do all of this you may be asking?

There are communal writing sites, like HubPages, About.com and others. Writers can also put up their own personal site or blog. Also, there are plenty of blogs looking for guest posts, and contributing writers (some of them even pay). Now and then you can still find small ezines looking for writers too. Search for something in your topic. Look for writers guidelines or send an email to the publisher. Take time to read what they publish, the writing style as well as the content itself. You may need to have an image with your post. Some sites are now expecting guest post and contributing writers to follow up and respond to comments. You need to decide which kind of site has more advantages for you. Established sites have their good points but there are rules to adhere to whereas on your own site you would be your own boss and have wiggle room to make mistakes, try new ideas and see what works for you.

Keep in mind, you should be getting something back for your writing: experience, feedback, social media connections, money… something.

If you aren’t getting enough out of the site you are writing for stop, move on to another one. Don’t fall for claims that major editors and publishers will see your work and snatch you up. No one can make those promises. Beware of writing showcase sites, many of those are read by a very small group of people, mostly the very same bunch that do all the writing and few others. That’s what I mean by not spreading yourself too thin. Look at the opportunities online but don’t forget to look out for yourself, be picky. Most of all, don’t get sloppy. You really never know who might stumble upon your work or when they may wander in. Keep your standards up.

Happy writing.

 

Do You Give Readers a Way to Contact You?

subscribehereJust for fun… next time you are on someone’s site take note of how many times they ask for your email address (newsletter sign ups, site registration, leaving comments, etc.) and then see if you can find an email address or some way to contact the site owner. (Twitter and other social media excluded because these are not direct email contact).

Why does a site expect or hope people will give their email address and yet the site owner does not give out their own contact information?

Not so long ago this was a reason NOT to subscribe to anything on a site. I still feel that way. How do I know a site isn’t gathering my email address just to turn around and sell it? When they don’t give out their own email they do not seem welcoming and they certainly don’t seem to want you to contact them if they make it difficult.

Can you really trust a site (blog) which does not have contact information? Especially, any site which asks (repeatedly) for your own?

Do Your Subscribers Count?

The Internet gurus will still try to tell people to push newsletters and getting subscribers they can send regular emails about site updates, sales, new products or services, etc.

I say, that is a dead end. I will subscribe to newsletters and sites but I don’t read them. They just become more clutter in my email inbox, added to the general noise I try to ignore until the day I get annoyed enough to jump through whatever hoops it takes to delete my subscription. Never read.

Why do I subscribe in the first place? You already know the answer. Why do you subscribe to the newsletters and blog update feeds which you never get around to reading in your email? You had good intentions, it sounded interesting at the time, there was an offer of a free ebook… etc.

If you want to prove the worth of having subscribers, people you contact regularly through email, test it out yourself.

Without begging, bitching or bribing send out your next regularly scheduled email to your subscribers and ask them to do one simple thing, leave a comment on your Twitter account. (Or whichever social media you choose other than your blog/ site itself). Don’t try to cheat the test by using Twitter, Facebook and etc to push people to post a comment for your test. You only cheat yourself.

If you count on having subscribers who not only read your newsletter but actually read and take action based on your tips, advice, sales, etc… where are they now? A huge list of subscribers isn’t worth anything if you can’t get them to take some form of action. How does it benefit you – other than bragging rights to having a huge subscriber base?

Subscribers who aren’t interested in your site, your newsletter, your brand, your product or service aren’t worth anything in reality. Find another way to communicate. Something that actually works.

Social Media Marketing In 15 Minutes A Day

Remember these two rules to social media marketing and you’ll be well on your way:

1. Don’t push a sale. Engage. Social media is all about conversation. It’s not a magazine or TV ad.

2. Only post relevant content. If you have nothing exciting to say, don’t post anything at all. It’s important to keep up a reputation for worthwhile, interesting content.

via Social Media Marketing In 15 Minutes A Day.

Snip.it Dumps it’s Content Curators in One Swoop

snipit

Snip.it may be excited. I feel used and tossed aside. Yes, it was a free service so I should appreciate what I had. But, that’s just it. I did appreciate it. I went out of my way to promote Snip.it and I did give suggestions for making it better. I was really happy and feeling good about the community there and the content we were building. I invited friends to join. I was banned from a forum on another site because I tried to encourage more people to join Snip.it.

I noticed things were quiet on Snip.it for the past couple of months. It was unusual, but I didn’t really think about it. Then, out of  the wild blue today this notice came up when I tried to add a fresh link to my account. I had already added several links just hours ago. So, this really did happen without warning. In spite of the words they say I feel betrayed and shocked even. I’m kind of angry.

My traffic was building, I had over 5,000 subscribers to my topics and I was able to see what was bringing traffic and what wasn’t. Now I have no way to keep in touch with my subscribers or ask them to follow me to a new site, nothing.

In the end, Snip.it is dumping us all for some mystery Yahoo! thing. What does that leave us with? A job curating content at a new Yahoo site? No. It leave us with absolutely nothing. But, we can take our links (which aren’t going to mean much stuck in bookmarks) and quietly get lost.

I made the Snip.it Hall of Fame. I didn’t look until I read the post Snip.it Snaps on Kitsch Slapped. Somehow it doesn’t seem to mean all that much. It would have meant a lot more when there was a Snip.it and I felt a valued part of the site and important to it’s growth. Now I wonder what Yahoo actually bought. (Our content collections and mainly, our subscribers? What was Snip.it if not a place for snipping content and sharing it with subscribers and those who wandered in from links we posted to social media?) I heard Yahoo paid $10 million for Snip.it. They say thanks for being a part of Snip.it, but I get no part of that. I’m left with far less than what I put into the site and I feel burned, really burned. The Hall of Fame thing is like getting a gold watch out of a bubble gum machine.

halloffame