Questions From My Email Inbox: Paid Advertising Strategy

Yesterday Jennifer emailed me and asked how I promote my website outside of organic methods.  For those who might be unfamiliar, organic refers to traffic to your site that doesn’t cost money.  The organic tactics I use involve Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and good SEO practices.

Jennifer was interested to know if I pay to gain exposure for my page.  And the answer is yes.  I use 4 basic methods to drive traffic from the web to Dream Big: Google search, banner ads, Stumbleupon ads and Facebook ads.  This is a new strategy I implemented a few months back after doing extensive research and developing an organized advertising strategy.

I am utilizing the promote your page option in Facebook ads where I am encouraging people to like my Facebook page.  So far I average 40-50 new followers each month and the strategy for getting new followers is to target people who live in and around the Charlotte area who also show interest in multiple sclerosis, self-improvement, personal development, blogs, inspirational quotes, National MS Society, etc.  The targeting is important and no other platform allows for more specific targeting than does Facebook.  How you might ask?  Great question.

My company is a partner of Facebook as we do a ton of advertising with them each month.  When the general public describes Facebook they do so in terms of social media. But inside the walls of Facebook they think of themselves in terms of data curation; a fancy way of saying they collect data.  They know what kind of car you drive, where you like to eat, what you like to eat, where your kids go to school, what roads you travel, where you vacation, what web pages you visit most often, where you shop, etc.  The amount of information Facebook collects is insane.  Facebook’s success comes by leveraging that data to advertisers through laser-like targeting.

What this type of targeting allows is for me to advertise to those who might engage with my page more actively; we call this high conversion.   So instead of simply targeting anyone with a pulse, I am able to only target those specific types of people who will most likely be interested in my type of Facebook page and who will enjoy reading my posts.

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Then getting to those followers requires another step.  I’m not sure that most people are aware but Facebook limits your organic reach on business/fan pages to approximately 2% of your total followers.  For instance, if you have 1000 followers on your business/fan page and you generate a post, only 20 people are going to see that post.  In order to reach the remainder you must use the Boost button and pay FB.  Amazingly enough this is how they make FB profitable.

Google search has also been a productive tool.  You may not realize this, but Google does not view themselves as a search engine.  What??!!  That’s right, Google views themselves as a referral business.  They index pages based on specific search criteria to put relevant results in front of potential customers, readers, researchers, etc.  (With that said they still only index about 35 trillion webpages or 4% of the pages on the internet!)  Ultimately Google wants you to visit a business, have a great experience and then return to Google for another referral opportunity.   In short, Google helps websites and businesses generate leads.  And the primary way they help is to use paid Google search.

Interesting Factoid…

Seeing is believing!  Google is the primary method of browsing the internet for most people (64% market share).  Do you know the #1 search site for millennials?  If you guessed YouTube you would be correct!

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Google search ad copy

What you do is register an account with Google and then go through the process of setting up a campaign on Google Adwords.  Now search is a pay-per-click product which means every time someone clicks on your ad Google charges you for generating that lead.  I set my campaign to deliver ads in the United States and Canada based on keywords like MS blog, multiple sclerosis blog, inspirational blogs, inspiring bloggers, dealing with MS symptoms blog, etc.  I want to reach people who are specifically looking to find blogs or bloggers who are writing about specific topics.  I don’t want to deliver my ad to people looking for blogs.  Why?  Because the search criteria is way too broad and I’ll get charged for those clicks and they probably will have a low conversion rate.  (conversion rate is the % chance of them becoming a reader of my page)

I am also using banner ads which display on websites which allow for AdChoices delivery.  AdChoices is the program Google uses to sell advertising on a variety of websites including all the WordPress blogs.  I am targeting other big websites whose readers might also enjoy and engage on my page.

Dream Big blog will inspire and challenge you!

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And then there is Stumbleupon which drives views but isn’t something I focus a lot of energy.  My weekly budget is minimal ($10-$20) and I don’t always run ads on this platform.  What I do like about Stumble is it has huge upside in that a post can go mini-viral driving huge views in a short period of time.  I’ve had posts get as much as 5,000 views in an afternoon!  The downside is these views have low conversion meaning not a lot of people follow my page and become engaged readers.  And for this reason I don’t use Stumble that much.

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Stumble ad set

Jennifer was also curious as to why I do all this advertising; which I view as a great inquiry.  The truth is that most blogs are followed by other bloggers and this is a great thing.  My mission, however, is to reach all types of people and I don’t want to be limited just to those who use WordPress.org or .com.  So for me to reach non-bloggers my website must be present in the places they live in the digital world.  Thus I advertise.

I know this is a lot to digest, but I thought it might be interesting to see behind the curtain of what I do on a daily basis.  There’s a little more to getting a lot of followers than just sitting back and waiting for growth to happen!

My motto: you can spend your whole life waiting or you can get busy doing.

Do you have a marketing strategy for your page?  If so, I’d love to read about.  Be sure to drop me a line in the comments or shoot me an email!  Have a great week folks!

Danny’s World: Are You Confused About Social Media?

This past week I had a couple conversations about blogging and social media.  The question I want to address is why someone should link their page to social media.   There is so much misinformation about social media, blogging and SEO so I am going to clarify things for you.  Here are a few of my thoughts…

Danny's iphone 022Why should I focus on social media when I don’t get a lot of views from Facebook or Twitter?

I hear this argument/question a lot.  The truth is social media doesn’t have as much to do with getting views directly to your page as it has to do with helping your page to show up in Google searches. Google considers pages with social media to be more relevant than pages without; especially Google+ and YouTube.  Therefore, having your page linked to all the available social media pages will help your SEO.

Social media is one of easiest, FREE ways to expand your influence.

IT’S FREE!  Why wouldn’t you utilize a tool that is absolutely free?  I’m not sure what else to say.

Social media gives you an opportunity to go viral.

This might be the weakest of the reasons, but there are people who have created a video on Facebook who are now in business because of going viral.  Chewbacca mom, Candace Payne, comes to mind.  She’s now writing books and signing endorsement deals because of one video!  It’s like hitting the social media lottery, but it does happen.

Videos are the wave of the future so you should be utilizing YouTube.  

I think we all know the #1 search engine is Google.  But do you know which engine is #1 among millennials?  Anyone?  Bueller?   If you said YouTube you are correct.  When young adults need to search they most often go to YouTube, not Google.  So if you are not on YouTube you are missing out on exposure to a HUGE group of people.

Baby-boomers read newspapers, millennials read social media.

This is a generalization, but it is also accurate.  For the most part millennials (75 million by population) follow their favorite people, blogs, news through social media.  Once again when you are not connected to social media you are greatly limiting yourself.

Social media will bring people to your page 

If you still don’t believe social media will bring people to your page, then this post probably isn’t for you.  The truth is it does.  Tom Slatin has over 200,000 people who follow him via Twitter and it brings thousands of people to his page every year!   I have nearly 10,000 Twitter followers who could potentially visit my page every single day, which results in approximately 10% of my daily views.

I’m not trying to convince anyone as much as I’m trying to provide a clearer perspective.  Do you have your page connected to social media?  If not I’d love to read your reasons for not connecting.  Hope this helps.

 

Danny’s World: A Few Blogging Tips

Danny's iphone 022It has been quite some time since I posted anything about blogging tips so I thought I would take a few moments and answer some common blogging questions I get via email. Here goes:

Tags – More Isn’t Better!

Some of you don’t know that WordPress limits tags to 15 including a category designation.  If you use 16+ tags it’s like using zero.  Don’t use more than 15.

I think I write good content, but why do people not seem to want to engage with my page?

There is no hard, fast rule here.  I have 2 basic principles based on other pages I have followed to help you with this: 1. post content which appeals to the masses, or 2. write specific content which appeals to a specific group of people of which there are considerable numbers.  I’m not sure where I fall in this paradigm, but I believe I would be more along the lines of option 1.  With that said I follow a page called Lucky Otter’s Haven which appeals to people dealing with narcissistic relationships.  The content is incredibly informative and Otter gets a ton of views each month.   Regardless, your content still must be helpful, informative and high-quality.  

How do I grow quickly?

For those of you who do not want to wait you must be willing to reach in to the change purse.  The route to fast growth is to operate a self-hosted blog, use Google Adwords, practice incredible SEO tactics and advertise on higher volume blogs.  Then, connect your page to every possible social media site and be active.  Then (and probably more important than any of the previous stuff) you must produce relevant, helpful, quality content.

Why don’t you visit my page more often?

I get this question a couple times per month.  The truth of the matter is I try to get to every blogger’s page who follows me.  But even if I could read 100 blogs per day, it would still take me over 3 months to read every page.  This brings me to a tip on engaging with your readers…Each day I visit 50 pages and I select those pages directly from my notifications.  I recommend you use this tactic as well.  After all, it is a good practice to engage deeply with those who are choosing to comment and like your posts. Then engage with those bloggers who you follow in Reader.  If you use these 2 tactics you should be able to cover a lot of ground and do so efficiently.

What can I do if people are not commenting and liking my posts?

There are many reasons why we blog.  Some do so to vent and purge.  Others want to make an impact on the world.  Some people want to display their poetry.  Etc, etc, etc.  But we are all here to have others look at our stuff.  If this were not the case then we could simply keep a journal in a notebook instead of displaying it for the world to see.  If you want people to comment and like your content, then you need to write content worthy of receiving a comment or like.  I think a lot of people miss this simple point: people are under zero obligation to read anything a blogger writes.  They are under zero obligation to engage or care.  The blogger must give people a reason to care; a reason to engage.  You must be unique.  You must be profound. You must be informative.  You must be engaging.  You must be creative.  If you are not one or all of these things then you are…….INVISIBLE.  Getting people to your page is easy. Keeping them coming back is not.  Getting them to engage is nearly impossible in a crowded digital world.

 

Last, but not least, remember this one point…

…blogging is a verb.  Blogging is all about interaction.  When I first started blogging I thought I would write great content, hit publish and people would flock to my page to read my wonderful views on the world.  The truth is blogging is action.  In order to get comments, you must comment.  In order to get LIKEs, you must first LIKE.  In order to get interaction, you must first interact.  If you sit back and wait, you will spend your whole life waiting.  Get active.

 

I hope this helps a little.  If you have any questions for me you can always contact me through the contact page here.  Have a great Tuesday!!

Danny’s World: A Common Question

“How do I grow my blog fast?”  This is the most common question I receive via email.  As a matter of fact it has become a back-n-forth email game Jason (Harsh Reality) and I play. The reason being is that the requests for help get incredibly forward and sometimes downright aggressive in nature.

Danny's iphone 022Currently a quarter of my followers (around 10,000) are bloggers themselves so it makes sense that bloggers want help growing their network.  I sought help when I first began and OM was gracious enough to help me understand the nuances of blogging.  He is the person who taught me the meaning of “blogging is a verb”. And to this day most of what I know I attribute to his tutelage.

The answer to the question is not a secret.  Growing takes a lot of work.  Growing requires time.  Growing demands dedication.  When you put in the hours, grind it out day-after-day and give it time, growth will occur. But it’s more like watching a tree grow than a house being built.  It takes years not months.

When I first started blogging I worked my blog around 60-70 hours per week.  I started early in the morning and I continued until late in the evening.  I adjusted my daily schedule so I was always attending to the blog.  I have always tried to give my page a “live” feel by responding quickly to comments, keeping new content posted and sharing other bloggers’ pages to provide a variety of information.

I hope this helps those of you interested in growing.  You must be active and patient; in time growth happens.  Tomorrow I will have a brand new post with blogging tips so be sure to check back in the morning!

 

Write Your Own Song, Sing Your Own Tune

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Music is funny to me.  You would think after all the songs produced that humans would have run out of tunes and lyrics.  Or that we would be reproducing the same music scores.  But musicians continue to pump out new ideas; original ideas.  It reminds me of life.

Danny's iphone 022Just as music seems to have infinite possibilities, so does your life.  Don’t let people tell you how you need to live life to reach your goals and dreams.  It is up to you to write the score for your life; to find the rhythm which works for you.  And only you can determine the notes.

Too many of us are trying to sing our own song, but doing it to the beat of someone else’s tune.  I don’t see this ever working.  You have to come up with the tunes and the words.  Write your own song.

Daily Post

The Courage To Shift!

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Tenacious

I am a lover of words, this is one of my favorites! My heart skipped a beat when I laid my eyes on this beauty, an old flame from my past. My first thought was of a contest I held on Facebook to come up with an inscription for my new Thirty One organization item! I am as creative as a wet noodle, but I know how to be resourceful and engage others that have the talents I lack (sometimes things are all about WHO you know!).

The winner came up with a phrase she felt described me, a combination of my name and the word tenacity! I was honored! Pronouncing my name (Juan Te) is challenging so I will try to assist. Juan (pronounced like the hispanic name), Te (pronounced like Tay) is my entire first name, although it is two words which confuses most people. Her combination flowed…

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How much do i lie?

This is Who’s My Favorite Today?!

Who's My Favorite Today?

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OK Danny atDream Big Dream Oftengot me thinking today. He posted a question for his readers, “How much do you lie?”

Right off I think, “I’m a good person. Of course I don’t lie. This doesn’t even apply to me.”  But…….as I thought a little more I realized that I DO lie…… Wait.  I lie a lot…….. I am a big fat liar!!!

Okay, so I am not having an affair or living a double life. But evidently I am constant telling lies. Like “dinner will be ready in a few minutes” when it’s really like half an hour. “I don’t know anything about _____” when I really do, but can’t say so as not to betray trust. “I’ll be off the phone/computer in just a minute.” More like 20 minutes. With kids I feel like I am constantly telling white lies. Does it count if they…

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