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2011

The 12 New Media Days of Christmas 2011: 8 Links a-Baiting

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During the 12 New Media Days of Christmas, we’re counting down the days until Santa comes by featuring some of the best blog posts of 2011 from awesome writers within the BlogWorld community! Skip to the end to read more posts in this holiday series and don’t forget to leave a comment if you’ve written a post about today’s topic!

Today’s topic is simple: how to write link bait . I think the term “link bait” has a bad connotation sometimes. People often use it to refer to articles that have fantastic headlines, but that don’t deliver on content, but that’s not really an accurate way to use the phrase. It can also be used to describe posts that are overly critical and insulting, even if the author doesn’t believe it, just to get people upset.

But link bait doesn’t have to be bad. In fact, good link bait can really help your community grow – or at least give you a boost in traffic for a few days, which is great for advertising and SEO purposes.

What makes a post good link bait? Humor, list posts that are easy to scan, heart-warming stories…Let’s take a look at some awesome posts about the art of writing link bait.

Post too long? Head to the Quick Links section for just a list of the links included in this post without all the analysis and quotes!

1. ‘Tis the Season for Link Baiting by Stephan Spencer at Search Engine Land

This post is right on the money if you ask me. Using whatever is being discussed in the news is a great way to write link bait pieces, and whatever holiday it happens to be is always a current event. Hey, why do you think I’m doing a series that coincides with Christmas? It’s my way of (hopefully!) making good content even more interesting. Stephan’s post also highlights another really cool holiday series and what makes the series such great link bait. He writes,

Noomii did a lot of things right with this campaign in a limited amount of time. For one, the site was built with off-the-shelf tools (WordPress and various free plugins), which means the creators didn’t need to spend a lot of time or money getting it up and running.

The concept is simple and easy to “get” right away. Someone stumbling upon the site will instantly understand the what it’s all about without the need to read the “About” section (the button for which, incidentally, is cleverly labeled “WTF?”, for “What the Fruitcake?”).

To read more about using the holidays to write link bait pieces, check out the full post at Search Engine Land. Stephan also writes at Stephan Spencer’s Scatterings and you can check out his book, The Art of SEO, if you’re interested in search engine optimization. Stephan is on Twitter @sspencer.


 

2. The Doll Experiment: What Babies Can Teach You About Writing Catchier Article Titles by Aman Basanti at Age of Marketing

Although link bait isn’t only about the headline, the title of your post really does matter. I like this post from Aman because it talks about the psychology behind writing a good post, rather than just being a list of tips we’ve all read before. Aman writes about an experiment where babies were show something unexpected and their results were measured. From the post:

If people pay more attention to unexpected events then it stands to reason that by using an unexpected element in your title, you can increase the chances of the title being noticed and clicked. That is, if you want your post title to be noticed give it an unexpected title.

After checking out the post, you can pick up the free ebookMarketing To The PreHistoric Mind, which is available if you sign up for their mailing list. You can also follow Aman on Twitter @ABasanti.


 

3. How to Rescue a Bad Blog Headline by Stanford Smith at Pushing Social

This post is actually not about writing a great headline, but instead about writing a great opening (or lede) to your blog posts, much in the same way newspaper journalists write their openings. While we don’t always like to admit it, most of us decide whether or not we’re going to share a post before we’re even finished reading, so the link-bait-y-ness of a particular post depends a lot on your opening. Writes Stanford,

Your lede helps yours reader decide one critical question: do I keep reading or hit the back button? If you fail here, your post will never stand a chance.

You can diagnose whether your ledes suck.

In addition to blogging at Pushing Social, Stanford is also the VP of Marketing for Fluency Media. You can like Pushing Social on Facebook and find Standford on Twitter @pushingsocial.


 

4. Positive and Negative Link Baiting: The Risks and Rewards by Jennifer Van Iderstyne at Search Engine Watch

I think this post is a fantastic look at the different ways you can write link bait posts on your blog – and why the traffic you’ll get from a negative post may not be worth the traffic and SEO rewards. In this post, Jennifer talks about the problems of “bad” link bait, so if you’ve been considering this technique for traffic, you might want to check out what she has to say. Writes Jennifer,

There’s an old expression about catching more flies with honey than vinegar. We’d like to think that holds up on the web. But when it comes to negative link bait, it appears that some flies really dig Balsamic.

It may be less work that goes into negative link baiting and it may yield more results faster, but in the long term is it really good for you, your reputation, or your site? And positive link baiting may take longer and sometimes prove fruitless, but when you do well, you do really well.

Jennifer is the Sales & Marketing Manager for Internet Marketing Ninjas. You can find her on Twitter @Vanetcetera.


 

5. How to Build Links to Your Website Without Selling Your Soul to the Devil by Marcus Sheridan at The Sales Lion

Marcus and I must be on the same wave length when it comes to post topics, because this one is hot off the press at The Sales Lion. Like Jennifer noted in the last post I linked, you don’t have to be negative to write great link bait. In this post, Marcus gives some proven techniques to help you write posts that really get others to link to you. He comes from a small business background, so I really like how his post incorporates those experiences to show you what works. Writes Marcus,

When Panda came out, people that had built their links through awesome content got rewarded.

Others that had been working for years to ‘game the system’ and take link building ‘shortcuts’ shot down the rankings or even got penalized by Google.

Great content is the ultimate ‘Anti-Panda’. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Google loves delivering it to their customers, and their customer (that’d be you and me) love reading it.

And that’s where the links start to build.

After checking out his post, you can follow Marcus on Twitter @TheSalesLion, like The Sales Lion on Facebook, and add him to your Google+ circles. You can also grab a free copy of his inbound and content marketing ebook by signing up for his mailing list.


 

6. Link Bait -A Viral Marketing Strategy Businesses Missed by Mark Acsay III at Webby Thoughts

This is a great overview of just what link bait is and how it can help you site. Mark lists the different techniques commonly used to create link bait, the essentials you need in every link bait piece, how to market your post so it has the potential to go viral, and how to find the “linkerati.” That’s a term that cracks me up and I absolutely LOVE it! Even better, he talks about how to monitor your success with link bait posts, which is something that many bloggers forget to do! Writes Mark,

Marketing for products has advanced together with the technology. Now, marketing a single product can reach millions of people around the globe. The idea of link baiting provides an avenue for business organizations to introduce their product at a bigger market. However, the technicalities should be considered since it also has limitations and risks.

After checking out this post, you can find Mark on Twitter @markacsay and add him to your Google+ circles.


 

7. White-Hat SEO + Social Media = Link Bait Magic by Ben Jackson at SEO Discovery (guest post for Problogger)

I like this post because it isn’t just a how-to guide on writing link bait – it talks about how to combine your great post with promotion to get some attention. I especially love his Drop My Link tip, since that is a tool I’ve never heard of before. And, more importantly, even though he’s an SEO guy, I like that Ben’s post doesn’t talk about shady ways to get as many links as possible at whatever cost. The focus here is on quality content, quality comments, and quality relationship-building with other bloggers. Writes Ben,

SEO is becoming less and less about traditional link building, and spamming becomes a dumber idea every day. If you focus on sharing quality content, creating a great user experience, and integrating social media, you are bound to grow your traffic and increase your rankings.

This is a guest post, but you can find Ben’s main site at SEO Discovery. You can follow Ben on Twitter @SEODISCOVERYorg and like his Facebook page.


 

8. How To Make A Link Bait That Goes Viral by Rohan Pawale at TechLunatic

The terms “link bait” and “viral” go hand in hand, and in this post, Rohan talks about the intersection. He talks about some of the smartest tips I’ve heard in a long time! Create posts with information that people will forget (yes, really!). Map the success of other people. Use videos. The awesome advice goes on and on. If I sound like I’m gushing…it’s because I’m gushing, and y’all know that it takes a lot for me to gush. I love when I read a post where I learn brand new things about writing and marketing my content.

Writes Rohan,

It takes military level precision to execute a perfect link bait. Everything from the number of outgoing and incoming links to the preferred social media should be planned in advance. Link bait if taken means a surge of very high PR incoming links and traffic.

You can find Rohan on Twitter @techlunatic and like the TechLunatic page on Facebook.


Quick Links

For those of you short on time, here’s a list of the links covered in this post:

  1. ‘Tis the Season for Link Baiting by Stephan Spencer (@sspencer)
  2. The Doll Experiment: What Babies Can Teach You About Writing Catchier Article Titles by Aman Basanti (@ABasanti)
  3. How to Rescue a Bad Blog Headline by Stanford Smith (@pushingsocial)
  4. Positive and Negative Link Baiting: The Risks and Rewards by Jennifer Van Iderstyne (@Vanetcetera)
  5. How to Build Links to Your Website Without Selling Your Soul to the Devil by Marcus Sheridan (@TheSalesLion)
  6. Link Bait -A Viral Marketing Strategy Businesses Missed by Mark Acsay III (@markacsay)
  7. White-Hat SEO + Social Media = Link Bait Magic by Ben Jackson (@SEODISCOVERYorg)
  8. How To Make A Link Bait That Goes Viral by Rohan Pawale (@techlunatic)

Other posts in the 12 New Media Days of Christmas series will be linked here as they go live:

12 Bloggers Monetizing
11 Emailers List-Building
10 Google+ Users a-Sharing
9 Vloggers Recording
8 Links a-Baiting (this post)
7 Community Managers a-Managing
6 Publishers a-Publishing
5 Traffic Tips
4 New Media Case Studies
3 Must-Read New Media Interviews
2 Top New Media News Stories of 2011
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

You can also check out the all the posts from 2010 and 2011 here, and don’t forget: If you wrote a post in 2011 about today’s topic (Link Bait), PLEASE leave the link in a comment below to share with the community!

New WordPress Plugin – P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)

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A new WordPress plugin authored by GoDaddy has been released. The P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) “creates a profile of your WordPress site’s plugins’ performance by measuring their impact on your site’s load time.”

Many plugins can cause major issues with WordPress sites, but this plugin helps profile and report performance issues.

If you have ever had issues with a site that loads slow, it can often be due to a poorly configured plugin or because there are too many plugins installed in the first place. With the P3 plugin, you can pinpoint what’s causing the slowness of your site.

To download the P3 plugin, visit the plugin page on the WordPress.org site here.

Have you downloaded the P3 plugin yet? I am downloading it now and am hoping it will help my blogs’ performances.

Google+ Makes Improvements to Pages

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Back at the beginning of November, Google announced they were opening up Google+ Pages, where brands and companies could connect with customers.

Since the launch, Google+ has been listening to feedback from its users and have made some changes.

Here are the Google+ Pages changes as highlighted on their official blog and in a video clip below:

  • You can now delegate up to 50 named managers as administrators for a page.
  • A new notification flow will ensure that these managers stay in the loop on all the activity that takes place on a page, giving managers the ability to stay involved in page conversations.
  • We’ll now show an aggregated count of users that have engaged with your page, either by +1’ing it or by adding it to a circle. This way, both you and your page’s visitors can get an at-a-glance summary of who is interacting with your page.

Google+ Update Improvements to Pages Video

Other improvements Google+ has made include:

  • Google+ Photos experience
  • Pump up (or down) the volume!
  • More useful and attractive notifications

Have you made a Google+ Page for your business yet?

The 12 New Media Days of Christmas 2011: 9 Vloggers Recording

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During the 12 New Media Days of Christmas, we’re counting down the days until Santa comes by featuring some of the best blog posts of 2011 from awesome writers within the BlogWorld community! Skip to the end to read more posts in this holiday series and don’t forget to leave a comment if you’ve written a post about today’s topic!

I’ll admit it: video makes me nervous. I don’t think it’s a good tool for everyone. I’m a much better writer. But, I do think every blogger out there should at least try it. Videos can be a great tool to help you promote your blog and reach new audience members. Plus, it’s great practice for public speaking if you intend to someday do webinars or live presentations.

So, today’s topic is video creation. Some people refer to themselves as “vloggers” while others use the term “video marketer” and still others simply consider themselves bloggers who do video posts from time to time. However you put it, their advice on video creation is great!

Post too long? Head to the Quick Links section for just a list of the links included in this post without all the analysis and quotes!

1. The Benefits of Creating Talking Head Videos for Your Blog by Darren Rowse at Problogger

Your videos don’t need to be elaborate or have a a Hollywood budget to be effective. In this post, Darren talks about the advantages to just setting up a camera and speaking to your audience. The connect you can make with readers by being brave enough to post videos is awesome. Darren says in his video,

Really, for me, a lot of it comes down to the personal connection that you can build with your readers. I’ve lost count of the times at conferences particularly but even online through emails where I get emails and have conversations with people who say, “I feel like I know you.”

Darren is on Twitter @problogger and you can also like his page on Facebook. He’s the author of Problogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, and the Problogger book (along with co-author Chris Garrett). You can also find him online as the founder of the Problogger community, Digital Photography School, TwiTip Twitter Tips, and FeelGooder.


 

2. Video Marketing Tips for Driving More Traffic by Lewis Howes at LewisHowes.com (with James Wedmore from JamesWedmore.com)

I still personally believe that you should do what you’re good at and what makes you happy, and that isn’t video for everyone. However, in this video, Lewis Howes and James Wedmore give a really convincing argument for why you should be using video if you want to drive traffic, especially as a business owner. I think they make some great points about using screen capture, Power Point, and audio with pictures if you’re not comfortable in front of the camera – definitely an idea that I’m going to steal! From the video:

What you want to look for when you’re producing content is what are the things that an article an article couldn’t do that video can do for you.

You can find Lewis and James on Twitter at @lewishowes and @jameswedmore, respectively. Lewis has a number of products for sale, including Video Traffic Academy, and you can watch more of his videos on YouTube. You can find James on YouTube as well, and receive free updates about selling with videos by signing up for his mailing list.


 

3. Livestreaming Video Is A Powerful Tool, 10 Lessons To Help You Get It Right by James Andrews at Social Fresh

Videos make me nervous enough – the thought of livestreaming is enough to send me into a tizzy! However, in this post, James gives ten great tips to help you get started. If you’re well-prepared, the idea of doing video, whether it is livestreaming or recorded, is a lot easier to swallow.

Writes James,

Though the tools are relatively free, you need to invest in a live web video game plan before broadcasting your first event. A Here successful launch is much more than just having a webcam and pressing START, it is important to plan for success.

James is the founder of SocialPeople.tv (@socialpeopletv). You can check out his personal Twitter account @keyinfluencer.


 

4. 4 Buzzworthy Video Bloggers Worth Subscribing To by Adam Singer from The Future Buzz

Want to see how the professionals get it done? In this post, Adams reviews four bloggers who use video as their primary method of connecting with readers. You should definitely check out Hate By Numbers by Gladstone, Equals 3 by Ray William Johnson, Whiteboard Fridays by Rand Fishkin, and Angry Video Game Nerd by James Rolfe. I actually already knew about and LOVE Hate by Numbers and the Angry Video Game Nerd, but the other two Adam mentions are awesome too! From Adam’s post:

Video is not a one time event – you wouldn’t just create one blog post and be done with it. How does that build community?  It doesn’t – and that’s the point. Which is why it’s always a bit funny to me when companies try to make one video, push it to “go viral” and be done with it. That’s not how the web works for any content formats if you’re looking to build equity in the world and create an audience.

Adam is on Twitter @thefuturebuzz and you can also like his blog on Facebook.


 

5. How You Look Video Blogging by Jay Dolan at The Anti-Social Media

Jay’s blog always makes me laugh, even when I’m having a bad day. I’ll refrain from naming names in this instance, but the other day I was watching a video from a blogger who was looking so crazy that I actually forwarded it to non-blogging friends for a laugh. So, Jay’s post about looking presentable if you’re going to be on camera is a valid one! Jay writes,

Please, for the love of all that’s holy, look at yourself objectively on camera. If you look like a hobo in poorly lit room, I don’t care how good your content is. At that point, I’m worried that you have a body hidden somewhere in the shadows where you’re filming.

You can find Jay on Twitter @JayDolan, as well as like his blog on Facebook to connect with him. You can also check out his videos on YouTube.


 

6. Beginners Guide on How to Video Blog on a Budget by Robyn Bloch at Sound Idea Digital (guest post for JeffBullas.com)

Need to know the nuts and bolts of getting started as a vlogger? This is the post for you. In this guest post, Robyn covers all the best equipment choices you can make if you want to get into making videos. Then, in a second follow-up post, Robyn goes over some excellent tips for new video creators about lighting and audio. From Robyn’s post:

Video bloggers such as Gary Vaynerchuk have used online video as the media of choice to great effect.

But many bloggers are intimidated by the technical side of producing a good video. At the same time, many bloggers that do use video do a pretty bad job of it in terms of production value. This could be improved with a little knowledge and a little money.

You can also expect a third post in this series, about postproduction, soon. You can find Robyn on Twitter @soundidea.


 

7. Vlogging: Video Blogging Interview With Amy Schmittauer by Katherine Salt at Marketing My (with Amy Schmittauer from Savvy Sexy Social)

Katherine Salt and Amy Schmittauer are two lovely ladies who regularly make my life a little brighter. Katherine is my half-way-across-the-world BlogWorld bff who I look forward to seeing at conferences. Amy’s blog, especially her videos, crack me up on a regular basis. So, them teaming up for a video is golden! Writes Katherine,

Video marketing, video blogging or vlogging as it is also called was covered heavily at the Blogworld conference and I was lucky enough to get vlogger Amy Schmittauer from Savvy Sexy Social to put down her camera and come and tell me a little about what this vlogging malarkey is all about.

Watch the video and them follow Katherine (@marketmy) and Amy (@schmittastic) on Twitter! Katherine also has a number of ebooks specific to marketing different types of small business, and you can check out Amy’s latest ebook, Sexy Self-Promotion: The Art of Blogger Outreach on her blog.


 

8. Do You Have Your Own Video Commercial by Ricardo Bueno at RicardoBueno.com

I like the concept of having a video commercial. A lot of people put videos on their blogs, but I think we kind of fool ourselves sometimes – what we’re doing is promotional, and thinking about videos in a commercial mindset can help us think outside of the box a little. You have to be interesting, not just informational!

Writes Ricardo,

Online video has to be engaging before it can begin to be persuasive. Just think about in terms of writing a blog post. You have to get someone’s attention (and keep it) long enough to make them want to read the rest of the article. With video, the idea is to engage someone enough to get them to starting watching your video and keep watching it all the way to the end.

Ricardo is the author of Real Estate Blog Topics, a newsletter for real estate professionals. You can find him on Twitter @Ribeezie.


 

9. My iPhone Video Tools by Tom Martin at Positive Disruption

Yes, you really can get started video blogging with as little as a smartphone! In this post, Tom talks about all the tools he uses when recording with his iPhone, which he used to interview 52 digital thought leaders for Talking With Tom. He covers video editing applications, microphones, and more, so now there’s really no excuse not to get started with creating video content for your blog if it’s something you’ve been wanting to try. Writes Tom,

All of the [Talking With Tom] video is shot, edited and produced using the iPhone. And the blog posts themselves are authored and published via the iPhone. It’s truly a 100% mobile video blog. And judging by the number of emails, DMs on Twitter and conference hallway conversations I’ve had with others, lots of you are interested in the technology behind the blog as much as the blog content itself.

Tom can be found on Twitter @tommartin and is the founder of Converse Digital.


Quick Links

For those of you short on time, here’s a list of the links covered in this post:

  1. The Benefits of Creating Talking Head Videos for Your Blog by Darren Rowse (@problogger)
  2. Video Marketing Tips for Driving More Traffic by Lewis Howes (@lewishowes) with James Wedmore (@jameswedmore)
  3. Livestreaming Video Is A Powerful Tool, 10 Lessons To Help You Get It Right by James Andrews (@keyinfluencer)
  4. 4 Buzzworthy Video Bloggers Worth Subscribing To by Adam Singer (@thefuturebuzz)
  5. How You Look Video Blogging by Jay Dolan (@JayDolan)
  6. Beginners Guide on How to Video Blog on a Budget by Robyn Bloch (@soundidea)
  7. Vlogging: Video Blogging Interview With Amy Schmittauer by Katherine Salt (@marketmy) with Amy Schmittauer (@schmittastic)
  8. Do You Have Your Own Video Commercial by Ricardo Bueno (@Ribeezie)
  9. My iPhone Video Tools by Tom Martin (@tommartin)

Other posts in the 12 New Media Days of Christmas series will be linked here as they go live:

12 Bloggers Monetizing
11 Emailers List-Building
10 Google+ Users a-Sharing
9 Vloggers Recording (this post)
8 Links a-Baiting
7 Community Managers a-Managing
6 Publishers a-Publishing
5 Traffic Tips
4 New Media Case Studies
3 Must-Read New Media Interviews
2 Top New Media News Stories of 2011
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

You can also check out the all the posts from 2010 and 2011 here, and don’t forget: If you wrote a post in 2011 about today’s topic (Google+), PLEASE leave the link in a comment below to share with the community!

Do You Pinterest? These Companies Do and It’s Paying Off

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I’m sure by now you’ve heard of Pinterest and if you haven’t, feel free to head on over there. I’ll see you back here in a few days when you’ve pried yourself away to eat something, feed the pets and take a shower.

Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board, a pin board, of all your favorite ideas and finds. When I first heard about it, I thought it was just for finding home decorating ideas, recipes and cool outfits. I was wrong.

I tried to stay away from Pinterest as long as I could, because come on, do I really need another excuse to keep me tied to my computer and smart phone. I’ll answer that. No. No I don’t.

It wasn’t until my nephew, who is in college, stayed with us for a few days during Thanksgiving. He kept talking about Pinterest. My teenage son and daughter then decided to create an account and all I was hearing was laughter and “Did you see my board and what I just found?!”

Needless to say they were having a good time, and being one who doesn’t like to be left out, I joined Pinterest and have been addicted ever since. (Thank you Caleb.)

Pinterest is definitely not just for those who want to find yet another creative place to hang garland in their house for the holidays, or a new cookie recipe that will make all the moms at your son’s elementary school Christmas party green with envy. It’s for anyone – male, female, young and old.

You know who else has taken a liking to Pinterest? Companies. I was reading this article on Adage about how Pinterest is driving more traffic for some companies than Facebook.

Here are a few companies mentioned in the article who are using Pinterest to drive both traffic and sales:

You can visit their pages and read the Adage article to see how they’re using Pinterest. One thing you’ll find, is they are still all in the learning phase.

Land’s End actually created a contest titled “Pin It To Win It” which kicked off December 14th. You can find out how to enter on the Land’s End Facebook Page. Here’s a snippet from the page:

We’re excited to kick-off a Holiday Pin it to Win it contest, our first-ever challenge on Pinterest. Simply create a virtual pin board featuring your favorite Lands’ End Canvas products for a chance to win one of ten $250 Lands’ End Canvas Gift Cards. Contest ends 12/21/11 at 11:59pm CT. Winners will be judged based on creativity, composition & style expertise.

Clever don’t you think? It will definitely be fun to watch Pinterest grow, as well as how different companies use Pinterest to their advantage.

Do you Pinterest?

Jerry Seinfeld Predicted Facebook in the 1990’s

Author:

Since the new Facebook Timeline is now rolling out to everyone (do you have it yet? do you!), I was doing a little digging this morning on the social networking site. As I was researching, I found this gem of a video – Jerry Seinfeld basically predicted Facebook in the 1990’s. (I dedicate this post to the BWE team who participated in the #BWEchat back channel last night. You guys are crazy.)

Jerry Seinfeld "Likes" you

Take a look at the video to see what I’m talking about.

So, not only does he predict Facebook, he explains the reason (okay, one of the reasons) it exists:

“It’s very important for human beings to feel they are popular and well liked amongst a large group of people, that we don’t care for.”

Jerry Seinfeld – you are a genius.

I wonder how many more 1990’s gems like this we could find, where they show that things haven’t really changed much? Just the way we do things has.

The 12 New Media Days of Christmas 2011: 10 Google Plus Users a-Sharing

Author:

During the 12 New Media Days of Christmas, we’re counting down the days until Santa comes by featuring some of the best blog posts of 2011 from awesome writers within the BlogWorld community! Skip to the end to read more posts in this holiday series and don’t forget to leave a comment if you’ve written a post about today’s topic!

Back in July, I did a huge link round-up on Google+ posts as part of our Brilliant Bloggers series. Since then, the platform has evolved and even more bloggers have weighed in with their opinions and advice about this social network. So today’s topic is Google+ and rest assured that I have some awesome links for you!

Post too long? Head to the Quick Links section for just a list of the links included in this post without all the analysis and quotes!

1. Google Plus – 5 Key Strategies to Get You Started by Wendy Moore at WendyMoore.net

If you’re brand new to Google+ and want to get started quickly, this is a great post to check out. Wendy covers five topics you need to understand to be successful on this platform. Since Google+ is slightly different from Twitter and Facebook, I really recommend you check out a helpful beginner’s guide before getting started. It’s much easier than wading through it yourself like I did the first few weeks! One of her great tips, for example, is about using keywords on Google+.

From the post:

Take advantage of keywords and phrases when posting content on Google +.

Keep in mind that Google Plus is powered by the king of search engines so what you’re sharing can be indexed. By using keywords, you can have a better chance of being ranked higher on Google searches.

After reading the rest of Wendy’s post, you can find more from her at Savvy Web Women. Wendy is also on Twitter @wendy_moore, and if you sign up for her mailing list, you can download a free copy of Savvy Success Tips: How to Use Social Media in Your Business.


 

2. Google Plus as a Storytelling Platform by Chris Brogan at ChrisBrogan.com

I don’t think it would be a valid list of top Google+ posts without mentioning something written by Chris Brogan! His Google+ presentation at BlogWorld with Guy Kawasaki was packed and for good reason – the guy knows what he’s talking about. He’s written tons of posts about Google+, but I definitely wanted to highlight this one, which talks about the value of this platform from a content marking standpoint. Writes Chris,

One great value of Google+ is that it makes a great platform for cultivating visibility. If your organization is hoping to “save a seat at the table” in between sales calls, one way to do this is to create compelling content that nurtures your business relationships by educating your community and by making them the hero in their own story. Said differently: If you want to nurture leads while they’re still at the wide end of the sales funnel, using Google+ is an effective addition to your content marketing strategies.

Chris is on Twitter @ChrisBrogan and you can also, of course, add him to your Google+ circles. He has a free email newsletter available to readers and is a the co-author of the New York Times bestseller book Trust Agents.


 

3. The Pros and Cons of Google+ Pages by Grandma Mary (Andrea Vahl) at AndreaVahl.com

If you haven’t yet been introduced to the Grandma Mary Show, you’re missing out! Grandma Mary is the alter ego of Andrea Vahl, and whatever her persona at the moment, I think this post is super smart. Google+ rolled out their new pages feature recently to allow businesses on Google+, but the system isn’t perfect – at least, it isn’t perfect yet. In this post, Grandma Mary goes over some of the points you need to understand about this platform if you want to create a page for your business, along with instructions for starting and whether or not you even need a page. From the post:

Why even have a page at all if you aren’t going to post there, aren’t going to circle anyone, and aren’t going to participate as your Brand Page?  If you don’t have time, if your audience isn’t there, then don’t create a Page, people!  This isn’t some land grab to see who can be in the most places at once!  If your customers are still all on Facebook, then stay on Facebook.  Take a poll – find out if they are over there!

Andrea is the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies and is the community manager for Social Media Examiner. You can also check out her various products to help you grow your business using social media. She’s on Twitter @AndreaVahl and @GrandmaMaryShow.


 

4. Public Posts: Are They Spam? by James Barraford at Media Tapper

This is actually a really interesting question, given that public posts are not only sent out to everyone who has you in a circle, but are also picked up by Google’s search engine. James weighs in with his opinion in this post, and also includes the opinion from some of his connections on Google+ about whether or not your public posts on this platform are spam. I think there are good arguments to be had on both sides of this debate, personally, and I certainly don’t want to see Google+ overrun with spammers and other undesirables. Still, I like to use Google+ for promotional purposes and almost all of my posts are public. So am I a spammer? Eek! Writes James,

The term spam gets tossed around a lot on Google Plus. I see it used frequently in situations where people don’t care for a particular post, thread, or superstar tech blogger. I don’t think I’ve seen a photograph of a beautiful mountain scene — that’s been shared dozens of times on my screen — be labeled as spam once. Have I seen +Robert Scoble resharers called spammers? You bet. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and often people forget they have the power of mute… or uncircle.

After checking out his post on Media Tapper, you can add James to your Google+ circles or follow him on Twitter @barraford.


 

5. Google Plus Tips & Shortcuts by Andrew Shotland at Local SEO Guide

Holy resource list, Batman! Pretty much everything you every wondered how to do with Google+ is on this list, with tips about everything from Chrome Extensions to Searching to Hangouts. I can’t accurate describe to y’all how gosh darn useful this list is, and although hasn’t been updated super recently, it looks like Andrew does occasionally come back to add more information. This is one to bookmark, folks! Seriously. Even if you’re not using Google+ right now, bookmark this post so that when you’re ready to jump on board, you can make the process SO MUCH EASIER. Here are just a few examples of the tips and trick he includes in this post:

– If you make a post aimed at your “Friends” circle, people in that circle who aren’t yet inGoogle+ get mailed.

– After you add a circle in the ‘share’ dialog, hover over it and an option will appear to ‘notify about this post’. That helps you control whether people get mailed.

– You can share your G+ posts to Twitter and Facebook with this Google Chrome Extension.

You can add Andrew on Google+ here, as well find him on Twitter @localseoguide.


 

6. Study: Will You Abandon Facebook in Favor of Google+ by Brian Solis at BrianSolis.com

I love Brian’s blog because his posts are so in-depth and packed with information and analysis, and this post is no different. Brian polled nearly 2,000 people to see if they would leave Facebook to commit to Google+ instead. Many people are calling Google+ a game-changer, but there are still so many people still getting used to Facebook; I’m not sure the general public is ready to jump ship just yet. Still, those of us in the new media industry set the trends for everyone else in terms of social media, so I think Brian’s study is an important one.  From the post:

As I noted in my initial analysis, Google+ is not a Facebook or Twitter killer and I don’t think that’s the right lens for which to survey the social landscape. In the U.S., we have a few top traditional TV networks, CBS, ABC, and NBC. In social networking, we now have three top social networks to compete for global online attention and interaction. In this example, none of the traditional networks successfully captured the attention of every viewer possible nor did one network kill the other. Instead, the programming of each network attracts people through content, creativity, and timing, defining, segmenting and sharing the audience around shared interests. The same can be true in social networking.

Brian on Twitter @briansolis and you can also add him to your Google+ circles. He’s the author of Engage and The End of Business as Usual, both of which you can pick up on Amazon.


 

7. Why Google Plus Pages (Will) Beat Facebook. And Twitter by Caleb Garling at Wired

While I’m not sure I necessarily agree (or at least, I’m not ready to make a call either way at this point), I think Caleb makes a really compelling argument in this post, which pits Google+’s new pages feature against Facebook and Twitter. In the past few months, Google+ and Facebook have grown more and more alike as the companies try to one-up one another, but Caleb makes a good point that Google has the advantage of, well, being Google. Will Google’s advantage not be in the platform itself, but rather in their ability to draw on their other departments to promote and integrate Google+ profiles? Caleb writes,

This is where Google will have an advantage over Facebook: With a broad array of services like search and Gmail and Chrome and Android, Google offers tools that are fundamental to the online lives of so many people — and these can be tied to Google+. As Google+ evolves, Google will have the means to promote its social network — and the branded Pages within it — in ways that Facebook or Twitter cannot.

Check out the rest of Caleb’s post on Wired and then head to Google+ to add him to your circles or find him on Twitter @calebgarling.


 

8. How to Hold a Google+ Hangout and Why You Should by Marc Pitman at Social Media Examiner

Marc Pitman is pretty much the coolest guy in a bow tie ever (okay…the second coolest), and this post makes me like him even more – it’s everything you need to know about using Google+ for hangouts. I’ve personally never done it before, so I found his advice (and easy-to-follow instructions with pictures) super helpful. Actually, his post makes me want to check out this whole hangout thing, which is a real feat in itself, because I don’t really like being on camera (turning on my webcam makes me nervous!). From the post:

We all know that people only purchase from us when they know, like and trust us. That used to mean we needed to go to a lot of conferences to meet people. But a tool like Google+ Hangouts can help you do the interacting right from your desk. And as Google rolls out the ability to broadcast Hangouts, you’ll be able to extend your reach beyond the 10 people in the Hangout.

And as you do more Hangouts, and capture more images from those Hangouts, your company will stand out. People will know you’re approachable.

You can find Marc at The Fundraising Coach and add him to your Google+ circles, as well as follow him on Twitter @marcapitman. He’s also the author of Ask Without Fear, which you can check out if you’re interested in fundraising


 

9. Using Google+ Ripples to Connect with Influencers by Casey Henry at SEOmoz

This post outlines a really smart way to use Google+ and one that I don’t see many other people talking about. I think one of the benefits of Google+, especially over Twitter (my first love), is that it is less noisy, so there’s a better chance of getting through to the top people in your niche. Since I don’t use Google+ a ton (yet!), I haven’t really looked into Ripples and why it might be helpful, but wow – I think Casey hits the nail on the head when it comes to why you should definitely check it out. In this industry, networking is everything. Writes Casey,

Sometimes getting an influencer to share your content can be very difficult, if not impossible. Ripples provides an easy way for you to investigate who are the influencers of the influencers. Let me give you an example of how this might work in a real world situation. Let’s say I write a blog post on Google Analytics and am hoping to get Avinash Kaushik to share it, since he is a leader in the Analytics area. However, I don’t have a direct relationship with Avinash, so I need to find someone approachable who does.

After checking out how Casey goes on to use Ripples to connect with Avinash, you can check him out on Twitter @caseyhen. His personal site is GR Web Designs.


 

10. 14 Bloggers Share 14 Awesome Tips For Using Google+ by Srinivas Rao at The Skool of Life (guest post for Social Mouths)

Y’all know that my mouth waters when I see lists that feature advice from a bunch of different people, so this is definitely a post I wanted to share! In this guest post for Social Mouths, Srini talks to people like Kelby Carr, Karl Staib, and Angela England about how they use Google+ as a way to connect with readers, drive traffic, find interesting content, build their communities, and more. From the post:

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on Google Plus and I’m finding that the quality of conversation with content creators is significantly higher there.

So I decided to put that theory to the test and ask some bloggers to share their best tips to on using Google Plus.

You can find Srini at The Skool of Life and BlogcastFM. He’s on Twitter @skooloflife, and you can add him to your Google+ circles here.


Quick Links

For those of you short on time, here’s a list of the links covered in this post:

  1. Google Plus – 5 Key Strategies to Get You Started by Wendy Moore (@wendy_moore)
  2. Google Plus as a Storytelling Platform by Chris Brogan (@ChrisBrogan)
  3. The Pros and Cons of Google+ Pages by Grandma Mary (@AndreaVahl/@GrandmaMaryShow)
  4. Public Posts: Are They Spam by James Barraford (@barraford)
  5. Google Plus Tips & Shortcuts by Andrew Shotland (@localseoguide)
  6. Study: Will You Abandon Facebook in Favor of Google+ by Brian Solis (@briansolis)
  7. Why Google Plus Pages (Will) Beat Facebook. And Twitter by Caleb Garling (@calebgarling)
  8. How to Hold a Google+ Hangout and Why You Should by Marc Pitman (@marcapitman)
  9. Using Google+ Ripples to Connect with Influencers by Casey Henry (@caseyhen)
  10. 14 Bloggers Share 14 Awesome Tips For Using Google+ by Srinivas Rao (@skooloflife)

Other posts in the 12 New Media Days of Christmas series will be linked here as they go live:

12 Bloggers Monetizing
11 Emailers List-Building
10 Google+ Users a-Sharing (this post)
9 Vloggers Recording
8 Links a-Baiting
7 Community Managers a-Managing
6 Publishers a-Publishing
5 Traffic Tips
4 New Media Case Studies
3 Must-Read New Media Interviews
2 Top New Media News Stories of 2011
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

You can also check out the all the posts from 2010 and 2011 here, and don’t forget: If you wrote a post in 2011 about today’s topic (Google+), PLEASE leave the link in a comment below to share with the community!

It’s Photo Day on the BlogWorld Facebook Page

Author:

We’re trying something new on Facebook today.  In order to share some of the wonderful memories we have of our events, we’re hosting photo day today and we’d love for you to join us.

We’re going to post images throughout the day and we’d like to encourage our Facebook friends to do the same.  If you have images to share of your time at BlogWorld, come by and post them to our wall and don’t forget to tag yourself or any friends you see.

We hope you enjoy photo day, and even if you don’t have an image to share, feel  free to stop by and  join in the conversation.

Stay tuned for announcements on future photo days on both Facebook and Google+.

To see all of our photos from past events, please visit our Flickr page.

 

Google+ Adds a Seamless Way to Hangout

Author:

Google+ announced a few new features to their Hangouts today in hopes to bring friends and family closer during the holidays. They make saying hello to your loved ones face-to-face easy and best of all – free.

One new improvement is the ability to start a Google+ Hangout video chat from a status update.

As they show in the photo above, all you have to do is click “Hangout” underneath a status update and they’ll add your invitation in the comments.

Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President of Google+, gives an example of when this feature might be useful. He says,”Suppose your sister gets engaged, or your roommate lands a job, or your favorite singer shares their concert schedule. You can obviously write comments back and forth, but it’s moments like these when you really want to connect in person.”

Google+ has also brought Hangouts to Google+ Messenger on mobile devices. Just tap the new hangout icon (a video camera) and it will go instantly from text to video.

You can expect to see this new app within the coming days.

You can see all of the other improvements Google+ made to Hangouts on their post here, which includes integration with YouTube and more.

Can you see yourself using Google+ Hangouts more with these new improvements?

‘Twas the Night Before BlogWorld

Author:

Twas the night before BlogWorld, when all through the hall
The hustle and bustle of preparing for it all.
The signs were hung by the rafters with care,
Catching the eye of all who would be there.

The speakers were giving good cheer in the lounge,
While raising their glasses, shouting “one last round!”
And Deb in the sternest voice to be heard,
called “Guys, you have to be up  early, now get thee to bed.”

When out on the concourse there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the barstool to see what was the matter.
Away to the lobby I ran to see,
and looked around to learn what it could be.

The light on the stage in the keynote place,
Gave the promise of new stars in the space.
When, what to my inquiring mind should intake,
But an entrance so grand, there could be no mistake.

With a text and a tweet and a status update,
Who could it be but Rick and Dave?
More rapid than 5G, they took up the fight,
And shook hands, and networked, then put an end to the night.

“Now Brogan! now Falls! now Sheridan and Strauss!
On, Shankman! On Handley! On Simone and Rowse!
Put down your glasses, our attendees, they sleep,
They’ll be here early to hear you all speak!”

As kids who don’t want to go to school groan and moon,
They drained their glasses and headed back to their rooms.
So off to their hotels the speakers were sent,
In anticipation of the next day’s event.

And then, from over in a corner, I heard Alli boast,
She was pulling an all nighter to get in one last blog post.
And Jen and Patti over in their hotel,
Were pushing to get in one last big sell.

The team didn’t sleep, but they were there before dawn,
in anticipation of the show to put on.
Dani, Jennifer, Chris, Matt and Nikki.
Katherine and Ivan and Julie and Kimberly.

To our attendees, exhibitors, track leaders and sponsors,
to our speakers, and vendors and community members,
from the bottom of our hearts, we’d like to bestow,
Happy BlogWorld to all and to all a good show.

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