Entries Tagged 'Content Creation' ↓

6 Steps to Marketing Success on Youtube

I put together six steps that will help you grow your traffic on Youtube.  Remember, like any set of steps, you have to do them for a while before you see good results.

6 Steps to Marketing Success on Youtube

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How to Stop Theft of Your Apple In-App Purchases

With the recent news of Russian hackers stealing in-app purchases and teaching others how to do it, you could be loosing a bunch of money soon. As a plus, it was also reported that the hackers where unable to access some in-app features.  This seems to be due to some apps validating the receipts of in-app purchases.  The processes if very simple and I recommend that everyone added this validation routine to their apps to protect them from this theft.

Steps to follow

1.  Get receipt data and encode it.

2.  Wrap the data in a JSoN object.

3.  Make a post request to Apple’s server.

3.  Check to make sure the status returned is 0 (zero).

That’s it.

You can find the detailed instructions to  verify in-app receipts, including code samples, on Apple’s website.

Niche Site Step-By-Step 004: Content Strategy

When I first started movingacrosscountry.org I didn’t think enough about the content.  I did identify that there were many things to write about, but I didn’t analyze exactly what I would write.  Thankfully I had moved a few times and had helped many other people move.  These experiences helped me with stories to tell as I targeted different keywords.

If you read any of the blog, you will see that many of the post contain some personal stories.  Some of the stories are from when I moved after Hurricane Katrina.  Others are from different experiences I have had in traveling.

How to approach content

I believe you should have a systematic approach to content generation.  I don’t mean you should be a robot. Instead, I am referring to providing your readers with sub bodies of work that make up the whole body of work; which is your website.  I didn’t approach movingacrosscountry.org this way.  I, alternatively, took a hit-or-miss approach; finding keywords that I could rank for and developing content around them.

The hit-or-miss approach is used by many bloggers.  Today they write about one thing and tomorrow they write about another.  Some of them are so much across the board that you wonder exactly what the blog is about.  I don’t think the content on movingacrosscountry.org is that bad.  All of the content is about some aspect of moving.  The problem that I believe the site suffers from is I did not have a distinct vision for the site.

I should have looked at the site as a set of something.  That something could be industry news, a personal journey, how to’s, etc…  What I did was to pick different keywords and then decide what I would write without anything to guide me.  If I had clearly defined that the site would be a blog of my personal stories, I could have branded it this way and readers would know exactly what they were getting.  What happens now is readers are presented with a story, then they click on an internal link and they get facts and figures.  I believe this leaves readers confused about the intent of the site.

How to keep them reading

Not having a cohesive body of work has cause the site to suffer, some.  A plus for the site is that I did use personal stories to teach and entertain.  This is by far the content that users read and click through for more.  I know this kind of content works because it is the kind of content I like and many authors use to keep their audience’s attention.  It draws you in and keeps you interested.  We are all interested in what others are doing or have done.

Method for making content unified

  • All of your content should have something to do with the main theme of the site
  • Work in series.  The entire site can be one big series or you can do different series.
  • Present the content to your readers as groups that belong to the bigger group.
  • Give your site a voice.  Whether it is your experiences, opinions, humor, or the like; give the site a unique personality that sets it apart from others.  Make sure to carry this personality throughout the site.

Targeted keywords

One thing that I did do right was to research keywords in the moving industry.  The massive amount of keywords that people search for in the moving niche is what led me to build the site.  Here are a list of the initial keywords I targeted.

  • moving across country
  • cargo van rental unlimited mileage
  • moving out of parents house checklist
  • moving out of state checklist
  • where to get moving boxes
  • moving companies phoenix
  • moving truck insurance
  • one way moving truck rental
  • cheapest way to move across the country

How to find keywords

Keyword research is a skill you need to develop to create niche websites.  I used the Google keyword tool to find the keywords you see above.  I did searches using moving as the base term.  I set the keyword tool to search for only exact match keywords.  Whenever I saw keyword phrases that I thought I could rank for, I would check the competition.  If you would like to learn more about this process you can read my post on ranking in Google with Seo.

I used two post styles for these first post;story telling and list.  The list style was good for building checklist.  The story post style uses personal stories.  The stories relate to the keywords, but may not be exactly what someone may think it is about.  I tried to be informative and entertaining.  I have about a 60% to 70% bounce rate depending on the month.  This is not great, but it is not poor either.  I have some other sites that are in the mid-80%, so I am happy with the bounce rate that the moving site has for now.  It would be good if I could improve it.  I believe the stories are what keeps visitors engaged.  If I had been more organized in bringing the whole site together by unifying the content, I believe the bounce rate would be even less.

Getting Unified

Months after creating the site I tried to get a little more unified.  I latched onto the fact that there are a lot of searches for  different capacity passenger vans and different types of truck rentals  I did a number of post around this theme.

  • 10 passenger van rental
  • 15 passenger van rental
  • 16 passenger van rental
  • 17 passenger van rental
  • 18 passenger van rental
  • 20 passenger van rental
  • conversion van rental
  • lift gate truck rental
  • dump truck rental
  • refrigerated truck rental

I placed all of these under the category passenger van rental and truck rental respectively.  I believe that over time these grouping will help all of these pages rank better.

Finally, I am working on a directory of moving companies across the United States.  I believe that this will give the visitors more to engage them and keep them on the site longer, as this is what a lot of people are actually looking for when they are searching for moving.  Keeping them on the site longer helps them to remember the site and also it increases the probability that they will click an advertisement or perform some other action I want them to do.  The directory also will give the site a lot more pages that can rank in the search engines.

The other thing I would like to add to the site is some sort of info giveaway that I could use to start building an email list.  This would allow me to interact with the visitors and suggest some services they could use.

So, there is my content strategy for movingacrosscountry.org.  What do you think of it and what would you do differently?  Please let me know in the comments below.

The Attention Getting Device You Must Implement to Sell Anything

I have been marketing for a long time and have learned a few things about selling.  But there is one ingredient that is so essential to success that you will fail if you don’t have it. It is the thing that makes us first stop to look.  It is what draws us in.  It makes us not want to stop until we have heard the conclusion.  It makes us feel good as we are buying. It reassures us when we might second guess the purchase.  It’s what gets our friends interested in our purchase.  It is what causes others to follow in our footsteps and buy the same things.  It is the story that sells.

I first heard this idea in a very old advertising book that I read years ago.  I don’t have the book anymore, so I can’t remember the name.  The second place I heard this was in Seth Godin’s book, Meatball Sundae.  He talked a lot about telling stories and how that helped to sell things.  But it wasn’t until recently that I began to understand how important it is to our success.

During the Navy Nola Week in New Orleans we went to visit the ships docked in the Mississippi River.  Some of the ships were docked along side the Riverwalk shopping center.  After the ships had closed for the day, we walked inside the shopping center.  There is a sweet shop there called The Fudgery.  We had initial passed the place and discussed getting a piece of fudge, but talked ourselves out of it.

On the way back to the food court area we passed The Fudgery again.  This time one of the ladies who work there was beginning to call everyone passing by to watch as she formed the fudge.   She began singing about the fudge and interacting with the audience.  She drew us in and we all became participants in the making of the fudge even though we never touched it.  At one point she had us raise our hand and repeat an oath.  As she lead us through the oath we repeated everything she said without realizing that we were promising to buy the fudge.  Through the entire show she kept us engaged by promising a free sample that would be dependent on how much we participated.

At the end of the show she handed out samples and promised a discount if people would buy multiple pieces.  Needless to say we bought three big piece this time and complemented her on the show as we left.  We now have our own story to tell and reminiscent about that time we enjoyed the show and had some really good fudge.

The owner’s of The Fudgery understand that a story well told about their product, and allowing customers to form their own story through the experience, is what sells their products.  Walt Disney is probably the best example of this.  When you visit the Disney theme parks you are immersed in a story and the story last a lifetime and brings you back again and again.

Another good example of this is Saks Fifth Avenue.  There is a Saks located at Canal Place in New Orleans at the foot of Canal Street.  I honestly cannot afford to shop there if I want to still be able to pay my house note at the end of the month.  I have visited Saks many times because they validate parking for the parking lot located above it.   I always feel welcomed when I go there; everyone is very friendly.  As I walk through, I begin to feel like everything in the place is special; including me and my family.  Often, they will have free wine and chocolate strawberries or some other thing that we would only expect during special occasions.  The whole time they are creating an atmosphere that allows you to create a story in your mind that you are part of the elite.  In reality, much of what they are selling can be bought at cheaper prices and personally I am a bargain shopper, but I still like to walk through there every once and a while and tell myself a little story.

One practical way to do this on your website is to take a topic and tell a personal story or a story that relates to the topic.  This is  what I have done in this blog post.  Try to entertain and teach by example; don’t just expose facts and figures and expect your audience to be enthralled with your content.

Now, think of your own stories and how they relate to your niche.  I guarantee you and your audience will enjoy it and they will come back for more.