Overblog – How to Make the Most of Social Media

If you have ever tried to add your social media content to your blog, you know how troublesome it can be. Setting up automatic tweets, and posts is pretty easy, but what if you want to add stuff that is happening live? You first would have to log into your blogging account, and go through several steps before you are able to post your content. Plus, taking your laptop to the department store while you’re trying on clothes, or to the big concert that all your friends are going to would be a MAJOR hassle. For those who are looking for a simpler solution to this ever growing problem of being able to conveniently share your social media content while on the go, then you might want to check out Overblog.com.

This blogging platform brings together all the things that you love about blogging, and social media, and puts it all in one easy to navigate place. Signing up for an account is relatively simple. At the top of the website, just below the main intro video, and slide show, is a button that you click on to create a new account. From there, a pop up window appears, and you put in your email address, password, and the name that you want for your website (ex: http://socialmediaday.overblog.com). Once this step is completed, your account is created, and now you can choose to take a tour of the website. You will still need to confirm your email address in order to access all the features of the website, but you will be able to, at least, do the tour of the site.

The tour details the five most important sections of the website that you will need in order to create your own blog on Overblog.com. The first step is using a tool called FLASHPOST that lets you instantly publish any type of content that you wish to your blog – images, text, links, or videos. The icon for this tool is located towards the left side of the toolbar at the top of the screen. The next part of the tour shows you how to link your various social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, etc.) to your blog. By clicking on the icons shown in this part of the tutorial you can connect some of the most well known social media sites to your blog so that whenever you post to your social media sites, that post is automatically loaded to your page on Overblog.com. For the third part of the tour, you are shown an icon in the far right side of the toolbar that says “THEME”. With this icon, you can choose the theme of your blog. The fourth part of the tour points out a picture of a gear that you click on to set your user preferences for the back office of your blog. You can also fill in your personal information, and the other basic info that you wish to share with visitors to your blog space. Finally, the all important “PUBLISH” icon rounds out the tour. With this icon, you can publish your thoughts, and ideas onto your page. This ends the guided tour of the site, and from here you click the “GET STARTED!” button to begin posting to your blog.

Truly, this website has some really great features that would make sharing your social media so much easier. One of my favorite features is the live video broadcasting feature (aka “livestreaming”). This feature gives you the capability of broadcasting a video stream LIVE from almost any mobile device (smart phone, tablet, etc.) straight to your blog. For those looking to make money with your blog, there is also the possibility of revenue sharing as well. Each member of Overblog.com is given an option to monetize their blog, if they so choose. You can even make changes to your monetization preferences, or discontinue the monetization of your blog whenever you wish.

You can also set up multi-users for your blog, and give contributors access to the editing side of your site. The blog owner sets the permissions of each contributor to either writer, poster, or reviewer depending upon how much access the blog owner wishes to give to a particular contributor. And for those concerned about how their blog will look on a mobile phone or tablet, Overblog.com has a built in feature called Responsive Design that adjusts the way your blog is displayed to a visitor depending on what type of device the visitor is using to view your blog. You can even import an existing blog to the Overblog.com platform if you’d like, and hosting is free. As of this writing, the stats section, and earnings page of this website are still under construction.

This is a great website for those looking for a better way to integrate their social media into their marketing. The live video streaming feature would be perfect for those that wish to do a live report on a trade show, or business conference. Also, being able to post from your mobile device (smart phones, tablets, etc.) is extremely convenient and makes blogging on the go even more possible. If you are looking for a new way to bring something special to your social media marketing, then you will want to take a second look at Overblog.com.

5 Easy Tips To Keep Your Company Blog Updated

Guest Post by Brendan Egan

Everyone is busy these days, and unfortunately blogging is one of those things that always seems to get pushed to the back of our to-do list. It’s probably because most of us don’t see the value in blogging, and we simply think it’s handing out free information without seeing any sort of return.

Just a few weeks ago I read a report that says companies who blog at least ten times per month earn two times as much online revenue as those who don’t. I know through personal experience with my clients that those who blog do much better all around with making money online than those who don’t. Over the years I’ve worked on marketing campaigns with hundreds of small businesses, and I’ve developed five simple tips and tricks that I share with all of them about updating their blog regularly:

If you’re really too busy, hire a writer:
You’d be surprised at how easy it is to find high quality blog writers these days. Many SEO companies offer them as part of their SEO packages and there are even specialized companies that only offer blog writing services. It isn’t too expensive either– usually anywhere from $10 to $50 per post depending on the length and niche. While this isn’t the right answer for everyone, if you own a business and typically make $100+ per hour when you’re working, it might make sense for you to hire a writer.

Write about topics you’re familiar with:

So many people don’t know what to write about when they blog, so they start to write about topics that they aren’t 100% familiar with. I personally am extremely well versed in web design and SEO, so I rarely blog about anything other than that. When I’m running low on ideas, I often visit a competitor’s blog to see what they’re writing about which often motivates me and gives me a great related topic to write about.

Post special offers and business updates:

One of the easiest blog posts you can write is an update about your business or a special offer. If you’re running a promotion, have a new product or service, a new employee, or just want to let people know you’re still there, write a blog post about it! It’s so easy to write 400-500 words about your own business, but make sure you don’t do this all the time as your blog needs to be informative and not just a sales ad.

Understand that your blog makes you money:

I rank in the top 5 positions for a handful of keywords with thousands of searches per month, but I also have over 100 blog posts on my website and I rank for thousands of long-tail keywords relating to my blog posts. I still get more traffic to my blog posts than to my highly competitive keywords, so blogging truly does deliver website visitors and leads. I know from our Google Analytics reports that our blog posts deliver about 50% of our online revenue, and without blogging we wouldn’t be very successful.

Schedule your blog posts:

As a business you probably have days where the phone is ringing off the hook, and other days when the phone doesn’t even ring. Take advantage of your down time or free time and write a few weeks worth of blog posts. Most blogging platforms allow you to schedule your posts to release on certain dates; I usually write all my blog posts for the month the first 3-4 days of the month, then schedule them to release two or three per week throughout the month — it really makes things easier!

Hopefully these five simple tips will help you keep your blog alive and updated. Once you develop a following and get some of your blog posts ranking in search engines, you’ll start to understand the value behind regularly posting to your blog. It helps people gain information they’re looking for, and it’s also a great revenue generator for businesses.

Brendan Egan is the founder & owner of Simple SEO Group, an online marketing, web design, and SEO firm that helps small businesses improve their web presence. Brendan can be reached by visiting www.SimpleSEOGroup.com

Should Your Company Blog Be Done at Home or Outsourced?

Guest Post by Dave Thomas

While some businesses pay extra special attention to their blog(s), others seem to have little to no interest in maintaining it on a regular basis.

Whether just starting a business or you have been around for some time, one of the questions you should review is are you best served doing a company blog in-house or outsourcing it?

Some companies prefer keeping the blog in-house so they can attend to it on a regular basis without having to work through outside channels. Others, however, see outsourcing the blog as a way to have a professional agency or individual that specializes in such things handling it, meaning it is one less responsibility on the company’s plate.

If you think it is time to review how you are best served with your blog, take a few things into consideration:
– Those in your company are your top assets since they should know the ins and outs of the business. Many times the blog will be handled within the marketing department, so that is where your efforts should be focused if you want to maintain the blog in-house. If you are looking to task that department with other responsibilities, then consider having the head of the company write it so it gives it more authority. Lastly, you can look to go outside the business for assistance;
– Going outside the company with the blog means that you could have a little less control over it. It also means that you either have faith in the people writing and posting it or you end up having someone in-house review each posting before it goes live. By doing the latter, you’re probably best off keeping it in-house;
– Should you choose to go outside with the blog, make sure the voice and message sound as if they’re coming from your company and not a PR firm, as having a blog that doesn’t have the tone of your business can backfire on you. While a blog can be tiresome to keep up, maintaining it in-house always seems to me to be the better option, simply due to the fact your employees know their company better than outsiders do;
– What is the message you could be sending to your clients by outsourcing the blog? Some clients may take it as you don’t have enough time for the blog, so maybe you don’t have enough time for them too. It is important to think ahead how what you do as a company will be perceived by the public, that includes blogging.

Another important issue to be consistent on is how often the company blog will run.

One of the major search engine gaffes that can befall blogs is those sites which have stale content. If the date says March 2012 and you go to a company blog that was last updated in October of 2011, you would likely pause and wonder what they have been up to.

In order to put together a consistent reader base, you need to have fresh and relevant content on the site. While every day is a stretch, content should be updated at least a couple of times during the week.

Lastly, make sure whether in-house or outsourced that the blog is keyword rich, meaning search engines will pick up on pertinent keywords and deliver traffic back to your site.

Company blogs come in all shapes and sizes.

Determine how your blog can best serve your current and potential clients, make sure it is updated on a regular basis, and track the metrics to see what kind of traffic it is getting.

You might be surprised how much of a positive impact that little old company blog can have on your business.

Dave Thomas writes extensively for Business.com, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.

WordPress Search Review: Yolink Search

For some time now, WordPress sites have been well known for their vast amounts of information, and content. This presents both an opportunity, and a problem. A WordPress site might have the information a visitor is searching for, but due to poor organization, it may be difficult for the visitor to locate that much needed information.

Some WordPress sites have a search bar that can be used to search the site, but oftentimes the results are less than stellar. A site visitor could also use the Google search bar for the WordPress site, but while the retrieved results are relevant to the keywords being searched for, the results themselves could lead the visitor away from the original site, thus greatly increasing the site’s bounce rate, and decreasing the stickiness of the site. What is needed is a search engine application that allows a visitor to search the original WordPress site, and deliver results that are relevant and useful while remaining on that particular site. Thanks to the efforts of TigerLogic, and WP Engine, the Yolink search plugin for WordPress was developed to help bring better search results for WordPress sites of various niches, and interests.

The Yolink plugin, which utilizes cloud-based indexing, is easy to install, and can quickly re-index the content of a site to provide accurate, and completely customizable search results. After downloading the plugin (as of this writing, for free) from the website: http://www.yolink.com/yolink/wordpress/, WordPress site owners can go through the process of installing and activating this plugin. There are a few short setup steps, but once those are done, Yolink goes about crawling the WordPress site in order to create a better search database that visitors will quickly find returns much better results than the original WordPress search bar, or Google search bar.

To better understand the difference between the built in WordPress search API, Google search bar, and Yolink, let’s imagine that we wish to search through a business website, and the search term is “business plan”. With the present WordPress built in search API, we would get several entries, many of which would be vaguely relevant to the term “business plan”. There is even the possibility of an entry with the words “business plan” in the title of the entry appearing much further down the list of search results. Using the Google search bar in the same situation, we would get relevant results, but most of the entries would be for blog posts, or sites that are not related to the site that we are currently visiting. In this respect, Yolink is superior to other search options. Yolink would give strong, relevant search results for the WordPress site that we are currently viewing, without listing other options that might lead us from the original site.

Something else that is really great about the Yolink plugin is that, upon activation, the share buttons for various social media sites would now be present on each of the site entries, and thus making it easier for visitors to share the site’s content with family, friends, and co-workers. Getting a piece of content on a WordPress site to go viral is now much easier thanks to the Yolink plugin. Also, with the Yolink plugin, visitors would be able to “look behind” clickable links, and see the searched for search terms in context to the rest of the site content without actually clicking through the links. Plus, visitors do not have to share the whole piece of content if they only find a part of the content interesting or worth sharing. With the Yolink plugin, it would be possible to pick out snippets, and pieces of content to share on social media sites like Twitter, and Facebook.

In short, the positive implications of this plugin are practically limitless. For example, many people were adversely affected by the recent Google Panda update. Although there are many factors that go into deciding which sites were to remain in the top placings, one of the deciding factors was the stickiness of a site. The fact is, many site visitors leave a site, not because the content they are looking for isn’t there, but because they were unable to FIND the desired content. With the Yolink plugin, site visitors will now be able to search a site much more successfully, and hopefully find the content that meets their needs, or most interests them. An even better caveat is that the time that is taken to use the Yolink search bar will greatly increase the time a visitor spends on a site, and that is a definite plus in regards to SEO.

How to Find Content for Your Blog

I was just looking at the WordPress dashboard for my blog and noticed that I have written 587 blog posts (this is the 588th blog post to be exact) and 31 pages of content (well, that’s 31 articles that I have posted here on my blog). I have to admit that those numbers are pretty awe-inspiring to me. I mean, really–how in the world have I come up with 587 blog posts and 31 pages of content? Well, in this blog post I am going to tell you EXACTLY how I did it. Here is how you can find content for your blog.


Do your research to find content for your blog

Before I start ranting and raving about how I personally come up with content for my blogs, including this blog right here, let me add my .02 cents about bad blog content (blog spam). There has been a lot of press and media attention lately about Google’s crack-down on content farms. I am not going to get into the search engine optimization details and other info about the Google algorithm, I will save that for another post. But I am going to say that if you are a blogger or someone who has a blog, you probably already know whether or not your content is considered a content farm. Take a long hard look at the source of your content and your ideas for blog posts. Blogging is not about scraping, spinning, rewriting, or even repurposing content. It’s about writing original content that someone else other than yourself will want to read.

That’s where the source of your content comes into play here. Let’s dig a bit deeper into possible sources of blog content, and look at the places where you might find content for your blog. There are a lot of places where you can find good content. You just have to spend a few minutes looking around the web.

First, you have to really start with a few keywords related to your blog. Let’s use this blog as an example. I actually have three major “themes” of my blog, or “interests”, you could call them “topics”. Here are a few keywords that I personally use when I’m searching for content for my blog posts:

– search engine
– social media
– social networking
– social network
– domain names
– marketing

When I mention “search engine”, that could mean a few different things: as in “search engine optimization”, “search engine marketing”, and even “search engines” like Google, Bing.com, etc.. If there is a news item, article, or something related to “search engine” that’s faily new, then I probably will be interested in it. Social media, social networking, and simply “social network” could fall into one category, and I might also use related keywords such as “Twitter, Facebook, etc.) on my list. I invest in domain names, and am interested in domain name issues, so I actually like to see what’s going on in the domain world. Marketing is also something else on my list, as well.

So, as you can see, once I have a keyword list or even one keyword that I want to write something about, I start doing some quick research. Here is a list of some of the places you could go searching using your keyword. I personally like to put myself in “investigative reporter” mode, or get in a journalistic mode when I am searching for possible blog post content.

– Google News
– Press Release Web Sites (prnewswire.com, prweb.com, marketwire.com, businesswire.com)
– Twitter (Twitter search for your keyword, pay attention to “Top Tweets”)
– Tweetmeme.com (tweets are categorized)
– Message Boards (people still use them, and they’re typically on topic)
– Google Blog search

Once you have a keyword in mind, start searching Google News. Find articles or press releases that have been recently posted on your subject. Once you find something, remember that even though someone has already written about it, you could do some more investigation and write “on a different angle” or take a different viewpoint. And you could even link out to that previous article as a source.

Press releases are getting pretty over-done now, so you really have to watch out. There are a lot of “press releases” being written that are junk, and only written for their SEO value. If you want better press release content or ideas, pay more attention to PR Newswire or Business Wire, or even MarketWire since it costs more and they still exercise some editorial control over it. Keep in mind also that if you’re going to use a press release as content for your blog post, make sure you take the time to write something that has value (just don’t regurgitate the press release unless it’s really useful information). And remember that it’s news…so you may want to jump on it quickly before 300 other sites post it.

Twitter can be helpful, but you may want to use it more for blog ideas. I like to use a combination of Twitter and Tweetmeme.com to find what people are talking about on a subject. Again, it’s more for finding blog post ideas and what people are talking about. For example, in today’s top tweets, people are talking about Jackie Chan and the rumors going around about him. You could try to investigate the original source of the rumors, which might make for an interesting blog post if you have an entertainment-type blog. Or even take another angle–write about how rumors get started on Twitter.

Message boards can be a great source of blog post content, especially if you have a blog in a certain niche. People tend to “hang out” on certain message boards, and they’ll post about something new if there is something to talk about. If you’re in a niche, then take a look at the message boards and read the “newest posts” frequently. I’m sure you will find something.

Don’t forget about Google blog search. Search for your keyword and feel free to write something that is related to what others are writing about. I often like to link out to other blog posts and give others credit where it’s due. There’s always something that someone else forgot to mention, so mention it.

There are other ways to come up with content for your blog, especially when you cannot find anything on your subject that’s recent news. You can always:

– write a review of a product or service
– write about a company in your industry
– write about a tool (online tool, software tool, or a physical tool). Lots of industries use tools.
– write about your competitor
– make a top 10 list
– write about the 10 best… in your industry
– write about the 10 worst… in your industry

Another way to come up with blog content is to get on a regular schedule. I personally like to FORCE myself (yes, sometimes it is difficult) to write something EVERY single day on my blog. There are some days when I cannot possibly come up with something, and I end up writing a blog post just like this one. Well, yes, there isn’t much news to write about so I thought I would write a blog post about finding content for your blog. Go figure. But I digress.

You can get yourself on a schedule and have one blog post that you can write every week, every month, or even every day. I know of one blog who posts the daily mortgage rates. Then there’s a company who posts the bank rates on a weekly basis in a press release. You could come up with a top 10 or top 100 list in your industry and post it on a regular basis. If you end up coming up with a “top 100 companies” in your industry, then you bet that all of those 100 companies will end up being readers of your blog every month, as they will want to find out exactly where they stand on the list.

I have to admit, even someone like myself who writes a lot and comes up with sometimes the most bizarre content in my industry, that I have trouble finding content for my blog. But honestly, it’s not necessarily all about finding wonderful content. You can’t always write some incredible blog post that ends up going viral and bringing in a lot of visitors overnight. It’s getting harder and harder to find content. But it’s out there. There is always going to be something that you can write about, even if it is trivial. What really counts, though, is being consistent.

WordPress Disabling Blog Posts with More than 100 Outgoing Links

WordPress is now disabling blogs that contain blog posts that have more than 100 outgoing links in a blog post. On one of the blogs that I occasionally post on, I experienced this first-hand. This new “rule” by WordPress involves blogs that are hosted at WordPress.com, not on blogs that are hosted on your own web server.

When I logged into my dashboard on WordPress.com today, I noticed a warning message that said that posting on the blog was disabled because they had a question about one of the blog posts on my blog. I had a gut feeling that one of the blog posts was causing an issue, and most likely would need to be edited or removed.

The blog post in question was, in fact, a blog post that contained more than 100 outgoing links to other web sites. This blog post, which I have now removed, listed other blogs that allowed “do follow” comments on them. I have no problem removing the blog post, as it was over a year old and most of the links were out of date (most of the blog, I suspect, did not work anymore). However, I do admit that I did not take the time to check them all by hand or even use a 404 checker script to check the links.

Would you say that a blog post that contains more than 100 outgoing links should be considered spam? Well, I have to admit that there are some circumstances where a list of more than 100 links should be warranted. At the same time, though, I doubt that people will really follow more than 100 links. In this particular case, though, the blog post in question was a list of “do follow” blogs, which could theoretically be used for purposes of link building or link spamming, whichever you’d like to call it.

In any case, the blog post needed to be removed anyway, as it was just not useful to most people anymore. I just did not have the time or inclination to remove it.

Thanks to WordPress, though, and their fairly new “rule” of flagging posts and pages on WordPress.com that attempt to embed more than 100 URLs. After contacting WordPress Support regarding this particular issue, here is what I received from “Anthony” from WordPress:

We currently have a check in place to monitor posts/pages on WordPress.com that attempt to embed more than 100 URLs; can ((url removed)) be removed, please? Thank you.

I do not know whether or not this is a new issue that WordPress is now dealing with, but it does seem logical to me. When can you logically say that a blog post should include more than one hundred outgoing links? I certainly cannot think of any well-written blog post that includes more than 100 outgoing links. Especially for search engine optimization purposes, a few outgoing links is a good thing. But not over 100 outgoing links.

Where do you draw the line, though? Is 40 outgoing links okay? What about 50? Or fifty seven?

Why Your Corporate Website Needs a Blog

If you are in charge of a B2B (business to business) corporate web site, you might have wrestled with the decision of whether or not your company should create a blog. If you would rather not engage in blogging, you will find alternatives that can nonetheless help you drive qualified traffic and leads for your company Internet site, as a blog might, and to obtain the search engine ranking advantages a blog might bring.


The Nuts about Southwest blog is the corporate blog of Southwest Airlines.

You don’t need to be a blogger to take advantage of the newest blogging methods. In reality, you can learn a lot about promoting your company’s products and services on the web by “doing what the bloggers do.”

The corporate world has traditionally been extremely slow to adopt running a blog. After all, adding a blog to a company Internet site is a large choice – and could have an impact on the company’s brand, as well as how the brand is perceived. Additionally, there are a great deal of maintenance requirements of a blog. For instance, who in the business will be responsible for the writing and posting around the weblog? How often will it be updated? Will the traditional weblog “comments” be added as a feature? If so, whose job would it be to “moderate” those comments?

The United States Government launched their GovGab blog, in an effort to reach out to more citizens. Several managers are assigned a day of the week when they’re responsible for posting around the blog. Each manager is charged with posting something on his or her designated day, and with moderating any feedback left by the blog’s readers, which could quickly turn out to be a full-time job in itself. A few other managers serve as backup bloggers.

Should you determine not to implement a weblog on your company site, you will find still several ways that you can benefit from utilizing the methods of successful bloggers. Let’s take a appear at the several techniques they are utilizing today to become popular, and apply them towards the on the web promotion of a company Web website.

Embrace Online Networking

Most likely the biggest, most essential “technique” that successful bloggers use today is networking. Networking with other bloggers, linking to and commenting on each other’s blogs, and even “guest blogging” for others’ blogs is typical.

Certain, corporate America does a great deal of networking. After all, that’s how a great deal of partnerships are made and how a lot of deals get done. But there’s not sufficient “networking” going on amongst corporations’ Internet sites and those responsible for maintaining the company Web website, including those in the advertising department.

Bloggers hyperlink to every other and suggest every others’ blogs; why not hyperlink to your company companions and ask that they hyperlink back to your corporate Internet website? If one business is an official “partner” with another business and will work collectively to provide solutions to their customers, why not continue this partnership around the internet level by linking both corporate Web websites together and recommending every others’ options?

The same goes for industry trade groups. Corporations should assist promote trade groups and associations to which they belong. Likewise, it’s useful if the trade group or association lists its member companies, providing links to the company Web sites.

Besides your existing companions, it is essential to attain out to new partners as well. Why not start networking with the bloggers themselves?

In most industries there are at least a couple of well-liked bloggers who maintain a close watch on the industry as a entire – and constantly write about what’s really going on. When your company issues a press release, keep these bloggers inside your outreach plans. Making your news and access to business executives available towards the top bloggers inside your business can pay off tenfold in backlinks and blogger goodwill.

If a blogger receives a press release straight from a company in their business, most likely they will pay attention to it. After all, bloggers are always searching for something to write about. And it is the bloggers who have the power to link straight towards the company Web site, which will ultimately help your site’s search engine rankings.

Furthermore, the publicity your company will receive is fantastic: several tech business bloggers have thousands of regular readers and subscribers who will immediately receive notification from the company’s news.

Use Technology to Get Your News Out There

An additional technique bloggers can teach corporate marketers is to make technology your friend. Company Web sites could use the newest blog publishing platforms, such as WordPress, TypePad, or BlogSmith, to publish content towards the Internet website.

Besides being simple for marketers to use and update the site with out IT intervention, blog software program has the added benefit of automatically creating an RSS feed from the content material. RSS feeds allow customers to maintain track of your site’s content. Furthermore, the weblog software sends out a “ping” to search engines like google and other sources, alerting them that the content material of the site has been updated.

A company news and press release section, or a company newsletter are appropriate places to supply the content in RSS format. By doing this, journalists, business bloggers, company employees, and anybody else interested in the company’s information and information could subscribe to the RSS feed and be notified instantly whenever there’s news to announce.

Adding an RSS feed and the latest running a blog technology to a company Internet website doesn’t mean that the business has to have a blog on the net site. In reality, the site’s visitors don’t need to know what technologies is becoming used behind the scenes. The “look and feel” of the page is still up to the site’s Web designers. Pages created with blogging technology could be made to look precisely like the rest from the Web website.

By embracing online networking and adopting the newest technologies that bloggers are utilizing, a company Web website does not have to be static anymore. You can gain valuable traffic and visibility using the search engines, and construct a sense of community with others in your space by applying individuals methods to your company site.

When is the Best Time to Post a Blog Post?

I have been asked over and over again by many different people. And most likely you have probably been wondering. When is the best time to post a blog post? Is there a certain time of day and day of the week when it is ideal to post your article or blog post on your blog? Yes, there definitely is a better time than others. And there even is a better day of the week. But, the real answer is this: it depends.


Photo courtesy cnmark on Flickr.com.

Why does the timing of a blog post depend on various or different factors? The best results of your blog post will depend on your definition of success. What is your goal for the blog post? Why are you writing this article, this content, and posting it on your web site’s blog? If you haven’t already, you first need to determine why you’re posting this blog post. I realize that there really is a chance that you are blogging just because you want to blog, but nowadays I would say that about only 3 percent of blogs actually contain blog posts just because someone “wanted to blog”. That leaves about 97 percent of us who have another goal: to gain more traffic and visitors to our web sites (or our blogs), and ultimately convert those visitors somehow. You want to convert your blog’s visitors into:

– buyers of your product or service
– regular readers of your blog

After all, that’s logical. You want to reach out to as many people as you can ultimately interact with them somehow. You want to reach out to people who have not heard of you or your company before. But when is the best time to post a blog post so that you get the maximum benefit of posting that blog post? Again, it really depends on your ultimate goal and the actual content of the blog post.

Breaking News – You do not have to be a “news agency” to post “breaking news” on your blog. If there is a news item in your industry that is important and people will talk about it, then immediately post it on your blog. Make a blog post about it and then, if necessary, go back and edit it again (and even more than once) if necessary. I cannot tell you how many times I have benefited (right here with this blog) from posting something that was newsworthy that people in my industry care about. By posting quickly and getting the word out (by using social media sites), others will notice and they will link to your blog post. Your blog post will rank well in the search engines (hopefully), and people will Tweet about it, Share it on Facebook, and even write blog posts about the topic and link to your blog post. The best time to post about breaking news is immediately. Do not wait until you have written a “perfect article” about the subject, it will be too late. For breaking news in your industry, there is no “best time” except for “5 minutes ago”.

One additional benefit for posting breaking news quickly is that your blog post could show up in areas like Google Trends, which will bring traffic to your web site both directly from Google Trends but also from the search engine itself: you could rank well for a highly searched-for keyword phrase.

Company Announcements – When you make official company announcements, you first need to coordinate them with your PR (public relations) agency. Usually the best time to make an official blog post is right before your press release goes out. I would say that you would want to post it a few minutes or even a few hours (or up to an hour) before your press release is distributed. Why? Most likely you will want to make sure that your blog posts coincides with the press release, and then when people see the press release and then look for the announcement in a search engine you’ll want your blog post indexed. Make sure that you post the blog post before you make the press announcement so that other web sites, when looking for information to link out to, they will find your blog post. Bloggers and media outlets don’t tend to like to link out to press releases unless that’s the only reference out there: and most likely, if they’re writing about the company announcement, someone else will: so make sure that your own blog has information about the topic. That way there is a good chance that others will link to your blog post.

As for a “best day of the week” and “best time” for company announcements, I would tend to follow your PR firm’s lead: usually they are done first thing Monday morning or even Tuesday or Wednesday morning. Friday is generally [b]not[/b] a good day for press. However, if you are looking for another advantage, and you’re rather small, holidays or weekends or even Fridays might be better because they are typically “slow news days”. So, you may want to take that into consideration.

How To Type and Informational Blog posts – If you have a general “informational” or “how to” type of blog post, then most likely you will want to post it around 10:00am or “first thing” in the morning, generally on a Tuesday or Wednesday. In the case of a “how to” type of blog post, it is better to post it in the middle of the week (people are still going through emails first thing Monday morning and not “sharing” stuff on the social networking sites yet). So, for a “how to” type or general “informational” type of blog post, posting it when people are most likely to read it or come across it is the best time. When you make a blog post, I recommend immediately sharing it with others on as many social bookmarking and social networking web sites as you can. If you are able to do that (or have someone do it for you), then you are at an advantage: the search engines generally will pick up your blog post fairly quickly and rank it well: and when it ranks well there is a good chance that others looking for similar content will link to it or share it with others when they see it.

Also, if your blog posts mentions a company (or your company) by name in the title or prominently in the blost post, the blog post may end up ranking well for that company name: and it will show up in the “recent blog posts” area on Google Finance. You may receive additional traffic to your blog post (and maybe some more links) if you show up in Google Finance.

So, the best time to post “how to” and informational blog posts is going to be mid-week, during the day.

When not to post a blog post?
There are several times, if you will, when you should not post a blog post. I generally recommend promoting your blog post (in some way), like tweeting on Twitter about it. Tell your Twitter followers that you just posted a blog post. Hopefully by now you’ve linked your social media accounts together, like linking your Twitter, Friendfeed, Facebook, blog feed, and other accounts together. If you are not in a position to immediately help promote your blog post once it’s posted (start promoting it with 4 hours), then I wouldn’t make a blog post and then go home for the weekend.

If you have an important company announcement, then I would not post it over the weekend or on a Friday or even at the close of the business day. Unless, of course, you have some sort of need to wait until the stock market closes or some other company financial reason.

There are good times to make a blog post and then there are bad times to make a blog post. I have literally posted thousands of blog posts over the past several years and, by trial and error, I’ve learned that you should not write a great blog post and then post it on a Friday afternoon. No one will be around to read it and start helping you spread the word about it. And, nowadays, writing the blog post is only half the battle. To be successful, you have to promote it.

FTC Says Bloggers Must Disclose or Face Stiff Penalties

In what I believe is a surprising decision, the Federal Trade Commission decided that they will require bloggers to “clearly disclose any freebies or payments” they get from companies for reviewing their products. This is the first time since 1980 that the Federal Trade Commission has revised its guidelines on endorsements and testimonials.

What’s more important here, though, this is the first time that FTC rules have covered bloggers. This is significant because the US Government is actually acknowledging bloggers as being a source of information that apparently needs guidelines. It’s another step in the “acceptance” of blogging and blogs–which is a good thing.

Here is some information from their press release:

Under the revised Guides, advertisements that feature a consumer and convey his or her experience with a product or service as typical when that is not the case will be required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect. In contrast to the 1980 version of the Guides – which allowed advertisers to describe unusual results in a testimonial as long as they included a disclaimer such as “results not typical” – the revised Guides no longer contain this safe harbor.

While this is certainly news to bloggers and an interesting turn of events, it is important to note that the Federal Trade Commission did NOT say “how” bloggers must disclose the fact that they have received a freebie or a payment. So, if you are a blogger, then you might want to read my post about the different ways that you can disclose that it it is a paid post (without actually saying that it’s a paid blog post).

The Federal Trade Commission says that their commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the final guidelines. What is important to note is that these are guidelines:

The Guides are administrative interpretations of the law intended to help advertisers comply with the Federal Trade Commission Act; they are not binding law themselves. In any law enforcement action challenging the allegedly deceptive use of testimonials or endorsements, the Commission would have the burden of proving that the challenged conduct violates the FTC Act.

Penalties are actually rather steep in nature, the fines for not disclosing paid posts are now up to $11,000 in fines per violation.

The rules take effect December 1st, 2009.

What is not immediately apparent to me is whether or not older blog posts are included in these requirements.

KeywordSmash Free Keyword Research Tool Launched

keywordsmash

As a blogger, online marketer, writer, and a shameless self-promoter, I am always on the hunt for content and ideas for creating online content. I totally agree with whoever coined the phrase, “content is king”. I have to admit that sometimes I get writer’s block or, as I like to call it, “promoter’s block”. Whatever you call it, sometimes you just need a place to start, a place to enter a keyword phrase to get started. I finally found that place, called KeywordSmash!, a free keyword research tool that lets you search every major online keyword research and content source you could imagine. And yes, it’s completely free to use.

keywordsmash homepage

KeywordSmash is pretty simple to use. Enter a keyword phrase and it lets you choose a category, such as:
- Offers (sites where you can make money)
- Keywords (keyword research websites)
- Trends (what people are talking about)
- Demographics (Google Insights, Compete.com, Alexa data, etc.)
- Ads (pay per click ads)
- Social Media Sites (what people are talking about on the social media sites)
- News (Google news, Yahoo! news, etc.)
- Discussions (forums, message boards)
- Articles (article sites)
- Images (pretty pictures)
- Video (videos)
- Public Domain (Wikipedia content, US Gov content, Creative Commons)

After you pick a source (or several sources), click on the “search” button and it will automatically find content and related content for you from those sources. For example, I recently used the tool to search for the keyword phrase, “search engine optimization”:

keywordsmash-seo-news-search

I clicked on the “news” button for all of the latest news on search engine optimization. This way, I was able to quickly and easily find all the latest news articles on that topic. If I was writing a blog post or had a blog about search engine optimization, then I would probably mention what’s going on today in the search engine optimization industry. [Read more...]