Rule-Breaking Is A Luxury of Success

This week I’ve seen several examples of ‘rule-breaking’ in marketing and social media. Minimalist business writer Everett Bogue has decided to turn off commenting on his popular Far Beyond The Stars blog. John Boitnott writes about how the New York Times breaks every ‘rule’ of Facebook Page management practice but has 700k+ ‘fans’. To top it off,  Seth Godin announced that he’ll no longer be publishing traditional books.

I’m sure there will be, perhaps already has been, backlash and copycats in equal parts.

But what these folks are demonstrating to me is the luxury that success provides. And success can really be defined as having developed an audience that transcends the platform – audience meaning real, product-buying, idea-sharing people – not just numbers of passive ’followers’.

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Social Media News Roundup

Just to keep you in the loop, here are some of the top stories in the social media and online marketing world from the past week:

Facebook announces changes to Pages

Come August 23rd, Facebook’s long-talked about about changes to Pages will take effect. Any custom boxes on your Facebook Page (business pages, not personal profile) will disappear unless you move the content into a custom tab, which are becoming narrower.

It’s still a little unclear to me exactly what will be left in the left sidebar of your Page when boxes are gone, and how, if at all, you’ll be able to add custom info to the main page. I’m sure Facebook’s ‘wisdom’ will be revealed in time.

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I Don’t Want To Blog – Is There Still Hope?!

I find that many people have heard that they ‘should’ have a blog, but worry that they are just not the blogging type, or don’t think they will have anything to say.

Is there still hope without a blog?

I would say ‘yes’. After all, a blog only works if you actually post to it and actively promote it. It’s no silver bullet and it does take time and commitment, and honestly, it’s not for everybody.

One of the main benefits to having a blog is that with well-written and targeted content it can attract search engine traffic quite easily. This is the main benefit you will miss out on by not having a typical, text-based blog. But search engines are not the only source of traffic. So while there are many benefits to having a blog, let’s consider some alternatives.

1) Re-think what a ‘blog’ means

The typical idea of a blog is a text-based site that you update at least once per week and ideally more frequently, with posts of several hundred words. But here are some variations on what a blog can be:

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Should You Worry About Your Bounce Rate?

Should You Worry About Your Bounce Rate?
A low bounce rate is often cited as a hallmark of a good website – 40% or lower is typically heralded as the goal. But does it really matter that much? The answer is “yes” and “no” depending on your goals and your site.

What does bounce rate mean?
“Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page” – from Google’s Analytics help pages.

When does bounce rate matter?

– If you have a sales or conversion process which requires the user to follow through multiple pages on your site

– If exploration of your site is important to you

– If you are trying to turn new visitors into loyal readers or customers

– If yours is a retail site and want people to shop around and make purchases

– If your homepage is not inducing further clicks, particularly if it contains blog excerpts or other ‘teaser’ content

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Get Focused With Your Website Marketing – A Reader Example

Sometimes I give some freebie advice to my subscribers and readers by way of a blog post. I received an email from Becky at Classy Sassy Couture who is looking for more ways to market her website and improve her SEO. Classy Sassy Couture sells  custom-beaded clothes and accessories via ClassySassyCouture.com. She also blogs at http://classysassycouture.typepad.com

Here’s a few of the questions/comments she had:

She tells me that she’s not sure what to blog about but that she picks up new followers whenever she blogs.

So first things first – that blog should really be on your own domain, e.g. classysassycouture.com/blog .  It hurts me a little inside when I see people linking out to their blogs. While a popular blog hosted elsewhere can still help develop your brand name, it doesn’t help your site’s search engine rankings very much and it’s not very seamless for the user. One of the benefits of having a blog is that it can attract targeted traffic, and can boost your search engine rankings. But if all that lovely traffic is not going to your own domain, you’re missing out. So I would recommend getting WordPress set up on your site and creating your blog on that. You can export your content from Typepad and import it into a WordPress installation.

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Recharge and Refine Your Marketing Strategy

I frequently come across frustrated business owners who are still of the  “build it and they will come” mentality. They don’t understand why they are not getting more web traffic, or why their marketing efforts are not having the desired results.

Any marketing strategy requires constant refinement to make sure it continues to serve your purpose. That also goes for the components of the strategy – making sure that your website, social media campaigns, ads, promotions etc are all optimized to serve your purpose is an ongoing consideration.

Here are some useful questions to apply to any marketing effort that can prod you into more effective action. If you feel that something isn’t working the way you had hoped, try going through these and seeing what you can do better. Make a conscious effort to step back and view your marketing from the objective eyes of an outsider – someone who knows little to nothing about your business.

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