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Blogging, Web Content & Optimizing Profit Potential

Blogging, Web Content & Optimizing: What Do I Get?

By Suzanne McDonald

Blogging and developing web content are both time-consuming and/or expensive. An engaged audience at the Rhode Island Hospitality Association’s Marketing Seminar took notes and asked a number of great questions.

I explained how to save time and money with clear strategies and tactics I used with clients to ensure Designated Editor is as effective and efficient as we can be to boost clients’ bottom line. I focused on FREE resources and tactics to generate content and boost visibility via Google and other Search Engines.

Along the way I threw in some anecdotes about negativity, such as how to respond to gripey Yelpers, for example.  Take a look below and see what you missed at the Rhode Island Hospitality Association’s Marketing Summit.



Social Media Bible by Lon Safko | Video Book Review

The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools and Strategies for Business Success, Second Edition – by Lon Safko

The Social Media Bible is a 700-page “encyclopedia”-esque book is best used as a resource where you can pick and choose the sections you would like to read.



  • Target audiences could be better defined for different digital platforms
  • Usability is difficult & descriptions could be better
  • Introduction section in most chapters is excessive
  • Expert interviews do not always relate to their respective chapters

The Social Media Bible, second edition, By Lon Safko

Publication date: October 28, 2010

Bottom Line:  “Cherry-pick” your way through this book.  Case studies are useful for tips but target audiences for different platforms needs to be redefined.

Make your business socially, behaviorally, emotionally intelligent

Chip Conley

When analyzing consumer buying behavior, folks down at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival found themselves at the crossroad of psychology and business, with Chip Conley acting as the crossing guard.
Chip Conley is the CEO and Chief Emotions Officer at Joie de Vivre Hospitality, a company he founded two dozen years ago. Chip’s years of experience and best-selling books helped him to create his talk, “Emotional Equations to Connect With Your Customers,” which aimed to help business leaders understand how to be more emotionally intelligent in the workplace.

Unpack your emotional baggage

  • Despair = suffering minus meaning. Suffering is a constant, meaning is a variable. Meaning lessens suffering.
  • Fear is used systematically to control, suppress and get people to do “something.”
  • When going through bad times, a company is a sweatbox.
  • Study: Women who had teen depression vs those who did not – the former were much better able to handle being a widow later.
  • Stress early in life builds long-term courage and resilience, builds emotional muscles.
  • Anxiety resolution: Chart what do I know/don’t know, what can I influence/can’t.
  • Disappointment = Expectations minus reality.
  • Disappointment is usually the result of poorly managed expectations.

Happiness and business practice

  • Happiness = wanting what you have/having what you want
  • Happiness = practice gratitude/pursue gratification.
  • Happiness = wanting what you have divided by having what you want.
  • Solace and comfort comes from consumption, replacing religion?
  • Bhutan – forget GNP – try gross national happiness.
  • Hedonic treadmill, whatever we get is what we want, we want more, which yields unhappiness.

Our basic needs to survive, succeed, and transform

  • Meet expectations, meet desires, meet unrecognized needs, but unrecognized needs will become expectations.
  • Transformational companies focus on the unrecognized needs of their customers.
  • Between stimulus and response is a space to choose our response.
  • We all aspire to self-actualization, but how do you make it for a company? Many great companies used it.

Buying behavior

  • Buying behavior is driven by unconscious thoughts. 95% of thought, emotion & learning happen w/o consciousness.
  • Identity affirmations play a huge role in consumer behavior. What does the product say about me, self-actualization.
  • People identify with things they aspire to be. Shopping is buying identity.
  • The more options we have, the more opportunity for regret.
  • What does a self-actualized customer looks like?

4 ways to succeed

  • Help meet goals
  • Allow expression
  • Feel part of bigger cause
  • Offer real value that they hadn’t imagined
 Want to learn more about Emotional Equations? Check out Chip Conley’s Prezi presentation for free.

Build your blog, brick by brick | Blog World Expo

Did you know that 33% of Americans follow brands on Facebook and Twitter?

Blog World Expo 2012That number has doubled in the past 2 years. It’s clear that a company’s online presence is more important than ever. Brands that transcend social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter see a strong following on blogs. This happens because blogs offer more thoughtful and carefully curated content. Building a successful blog isn’t an easy task, and followers will only join if there’s a benefit for them. There are, however, ways for bloggers to improve their sites. The key is is look from inside out. At the Blog World & New Media Expo, a talked called “Building an Authority Brand” touched upon the must-do’s for serious bloggers.  We’ve recapped some of the hot topics at this exclusive event:

It pays to understand the blogger culture

  • Bloggers feel they aren’t treated as professionally as media. Be aware of this, and be respectful.
  • Not all women bloggers are mommy bloggers. It’s almost a derogatory term these days.
  • Don’t think campaign. Focus on relationships when reaching out to fellow bloggers. Having mutual respect for bloggers will enhance your community. So, give a little, and you will benefit in return.
  • Bloggers deserve respect, especially when pitching. There’s no lack of ideas about what to write so keep that in mind when pitching.

Interactivity is key

  • When you find a great blog, comment on the posts you like. Comments are “blogger crack.” If they comment back on one of your posts, thank them, and keep the commenting going.
  • When you get a “no” to the right idea, it’s a no to your approach. You don’t yet get what they need. Switch up the approach to enhance activity on your page.
  • Keep a spreadsheet of bloggers with details about their blogs and any follow-up activity. Note things like: Where did they come from? Why are they on your list? This might help you reach out to and understand prospective followers.

There are plenty of budding blogs and blogger tools to learn from

Thanks for the insight, @CENTURY21, @tamadear, and @rzazueta!

Boost Rankings by Optimizing Your Website Speed | SEMNE

A fast website makes users feel empowered; a slow website is simply agonizing. In a time-poor society, users and consumers want  to use fast, responsive sites. As website owners team up with developers to prioritize strategy, speed is consistently the most important factor. At a recent Search Engine Marketing New England event, Jonathan Hochman made the case for website speed optimization and how you can boost it for your site.

What every website owner should know about speed

  • If your site is penalized 100% of the time you will be notified in Google Webmaster tools.
  • Amazon reports that .1 of a second in load speed causes 1% loss in sales.
  • Browsers only run between 2 and 5 simultaneous requests (for images and data etc.)

Be selective when choosing hosting

  • It’s OK to complain if your site isn’t loading fast enough! The worst possible hosting is your own IT department.
  • Users recommend BostonComputing and TigerTech because they are good for WordPress and offer quality support.
  • Mediatemple and RackSpace also good hosting choices, but they are a bit more expensive.
  • Double your WordPress speed with W3 Total cache plugin. This tool allows you to turn on page caching and minification, which can double the page speed
  • Don’t self-host video, embed from Wistia for better quality and analytics. It’s not free, but can learn more and is compatible.

What affects website speed?

  • The number of lines of code (although this matters less than other factors)
  • Ad scripts being served from Google Adsense servers
  • Page size
  • Flash video player from YouTube
  • Images from Blogger Photos and other sites

 What is a CSS Sprite?

  • An image sprite is a collection of images put into a single image. A web page with many images can take a long time to load and generates multiple server requests. Using image sprites will reduce the number of server requests and save bandwidth
  • Those looking to hire a developer should hire those who know CSS Sprites. Experts say developers should absolutely know sprites – should be standard nowadays.

Quick fixes help and code tactics count

High-impact, easy-to-use tools

  • Use content delivery network Cloudflare (free) to speed up your website’s load time! Users says comment spam and site scraping will be reduced.
  • Linux servers are faster than Windows. There may be a correlation to self-hosting and Windows
  • Measure website speed with Pingdom tools (you want 1.5 seconds or less). Users say it has great data speed when tested correctly.
  • Yoast works especially well with WordPress. This tools helps users optimize speed with the help of a plugin developer.

Special thanks to insight from SEMNE friends @seangw and @fairminder!