Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Track your Brand on Social Media

Want to know how your brand is being received by your potential customer?  It's easy to keep your pulse on public sentiment surrounding your business by simply monitoring chatter on social media.  Lots of paid social tracking tools are available to track mentions of your business or brand on Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook or Google - but there is a free and easy way to do it provided by the sites themselves, no special social tracking tools required!

Twitter and Facebook's search bars can provide info on who is searching for or mentioning your brand and is a powerful, free social tracking tool.   Simply type the term into the bar and see what pops up.  You can also interact with people that are mentioning your business or brand.  On Google you can set up alerts for your brand and get email alerts when it is mentioned.

Lastly , you can monitor your competition as well and see how they are perceived in the public.  This can give you some good insight about your own social media perception as well.  Above all, if you come across negative comments be sure to nip them in the bud, off social media.  Invite the poster off social media ( to a call or email address) to address the issue in a professional way, out of the public eye.

Be sure to monitor your brand to stay in touch with your customer and to nip any negativity on social in the bud and protect your brand image.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tips on Monetizing Pinterest with Luvocracy

Just in time for Valentine's Day we have something you'll really love, Luvocracy
There are often questions on how to monetize Pinterest and how to generate the most income from this burgeoning social media platform.  Once you have signed up for Pinterest Analytics and have your boards search ready, organized in a way that is meaningful for your customers and have created pins that cause viewers to pin and visit your site thereby indirectly monetizing Pinterest you are ready to directly monetize Pinterest with Luvocracy. Luvocracy hasn’t been around very long but these common sense tips on monetizing with Luvocracy could help you squeeze extra income from Pinterest. 

How does Luvocracy Monetize Pinterest

Luvocracy is basically  a personal shopping site where tastemakers  ( that would be you) select items for sale from across the web and add them to your wall.  In this way Luvocracy is very much like Pinterest in that you find Items you love ( or fit with the theme of your blog) and collect them in one location.  You can create categories, just like pinterest boards, where like items will be grouped together.  Unlike Pinterest, Luvocracy compensates you when someone purchases an item you recommended.  The Compensation rate can vary from 2-10% .
What makes this concept even more interesting is that your readers will inevitably sign up for Luvocracy themselves, and recommend products to their friends who will invariably buy them.  You’ll also earn income on this as well.  Pinterest does NOT currently strip affiliate data from Luvocracy pins ( probably due to the structure of the link) , so unlike Amazon’s affiliate program you can directly PIN from your Luvocracy page to Pinterest and keep your affiliate information.

How to Monetize Pinterest with Luvocracy

Monetizing Pinterest with Luvocracy is actually simple.  First create categories that coincide with your successful Pinterest boards. Add Items that make sense for that category .  For example if you have a recipe blog you might consider making boards for  Kitchen Tools, Spices, Gourmet Foods etc..Be sure the image associated with the item is attractive.  Just like Pinterest the looks of your PIns or Luvocracy recommendations matter.
Keep your suggestions reasonably priced.  You can always create a special board for those astronomically priced items.  However, if you routinely promote items that are not affordable then people will tune you out.

Keep your Pinterest Boards and your Luvocracy categories similar .  Remember you are mostly targeting your Pinterest and website followers.  Putting a lot of out of left field boards will just confuse your followers. Take into account who your audience is via your analytics and recommend accordingly.

Remember that just like any program Luvocracy will have to be promoted to your followers on your blog Twitter , Facebook, Stumbleupon and other Social Media.  Fortunately Luvocracy has tools to help with that promotion and a high value $10 coupon to encourage sign ups.  When you find something interesting to your audience be sure to LUV it then pin .  You can share your Pin and be compensated twice with an increase in Pinterest followers and, if they buy, a commission from Luvocracy.

Sign Up Need Help with Pinterest ? This post may contain affiliate links

Sunday, January 12, 2014

How to Tie a Tie

How to tie a Tie, What is Twerking and Nelson Mandela - 3 things that are seemingly unrelated but were the hottest search terms and trends on Google in 2013.  If you are wondering how often your keywords are being searched for on Google , let us introduce you to Google webmaster tools.  So many bloggers completely overlook this tool but I really suggest you take the 5 minutes to install the Webmaster tools code on your blog and see how many impressions your Keywords get.  Many bloggers wonder - what will this knowledge do for my blog ?  the answer is simple

1.  What are people looking for ?  If you have a blog about Cooking and people are looking for terms like "how to flambe" "What does Julienne mean"  "how to make a Roux"

2. Up or down  - monitor if more or less people are looking for your top keywords .  If your numbers drop take steps to improve your SERPS .

3.Maybe you get a lot of impressions for a certain keyword.  Find a connection to less popular keywords in other posts and link up to increase traffic and lower the bounce rate.

So sorry if you were looking for How to tie a Tie, What is Twerking and Nelson Mandela. you won't find the answer to any of those things in this post.  But if you are looking to improve your blogs Search engine results placement learn how to work the Google webmaster tools.  Don't know where to start , contact Bloom Blogs for an evaluation

Friday, September 27, 2013

Hummingbird tips for Bloggers

Have you heard about the bird ?
 That would be the Hummingbird algorithm from Google and chances are you have been seeing the effects of this change over the past month.  Google's latest algorithm modification is its most comprehensive since Caffeine.  There are many who are reluctant to accept Google's latest update, but like all the rest of the algorithm changes Google's  boss and we just have to go with the flow.   So grab on to our little raft and see what these Hummingbird changes mean for your blog.

For the searcher Google hopes not to deliver results to queries but answers.  This means if I asked Google , what's better for my health Butter or Olive Oil Google, it would deliver an answer to your question, not pages of results that might answer your question ( Olive Oil obviously) .  This does beg the question , where did Google get this information from and what does that do for my site ?  The answer is , no one really knows yet.  We've seen recently Google's preference for long tail keywords and keyword phrases.  Those that target shorter keywords may see decrease in traffic because the term is too generic .  If I was trying to place well for the keyword "diet" I would probably notice a decrease in traffic whereas a more specific keyword phrase like "What is the 5 and 2 Diet " would be helped by these algorithm changes.  as from where Google's answers come, many only assume it is data harvested from Google's bots but it's still unknown.

So what can you do to improve your search engine position in light of Google's recent algorithm changes ?  

1. Still deliver good , authoritative content for your readers.  Just like in business loyal readers are easier to acquire than new ones.  Keep delivering good stuff .  Even if Google becomes the answer engine , other search engines are not likely ( at least immediately) to follow suit. 

2. Focus on Keyword phrases.  Google wants search to become more natural.  research longtail keywords and add them to your fantastic content  Always think about what someone would have to ask to find a particular piece of content.

3. Social Media.  Focus on social media outlets for generating new visitors and as a resource for search as well. People are using Facebook's search feature more and more and if / when Google becomes less of a search engine alternate sources will become more popular.

4. Maybe a good time to look at what other search engines are looking for.  Even though Google has a stranglehold on 2/3 of search in the US it behooves you to try to make nice with the other search engines.  Largely overlooked , Bing fares well in side by side comparisons with Google and if Google becomes an answer engine there will still be a need for search engines and Bing is more than prepared to meet the search demands .

5.  Top Secret .  The biggest complaint about Google's recent changes is not this algorithm change but it is the Secret Search, meaning no more data on Google searches in adwords.  That's right,  the only way to know what keyword is getting clicked on in Google search is by paying for it with adsense.  Sure this makes life harder but not impossible there are ways around this data blackhole. 

Need more info on your current SEO and Hummingbird tips ?  visit Bloom Blogs

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Yelp-Sucks and Other things you might not know

Yelp and Your Small Business

You may not have heard it yet but , Yelp Sucks.  It Sucks so hard that there is an entire website with a whole lot of like-minded business owners who commiserate over the suckiness of Yelp .  Yelp's business practices are often compared to those of an even more well known organization , the mob .  The mob , in case you also didn't know, was infamous for earning money from businesses through extortion .  The mob was great at creating a problem ( robberies, arson, knee-breaking) and being the only solution- you don't pay and something bad is bound to happen to your business or to you.

How could a website that boasts over 100 million page views in a MONTH be extorting small business owners? ( I see you scratching your head over there ) well I could explain it to you , but Bloom or our clients haven't been victims of Yelp ( yet) .  It's much more telling to listen to the stories of those who were affected ; like the new small business owner whose competitors wrote their first reviews , all 1 stars.  Promptly creating a negative reputation of the new business , which Yelp should have corrected but refused.  How about the business owner who has a 3 star reputation because Yelp hid all the five star reviews in a section of his page which requires the viewer to click a link (greyed out) to view it? Did you know that a one star difference on Yelp can help your business by an increase in revenue of 9% ; what do you think happens to business when you lose a star on Yelp? has thousands of complaints about Yelp's business practices from business owners if you are interested in reading more about how (they think) Yelp hurts small business. the FTC has received over 600 complaints about Yelp's business practices, people are getting fed up with the review site.

Now that's not to say that some businesses aren't helped by Yelp, because certainly there are success stories.  Yelp, however, has cornered a certain niche of the review market which , according to their published numbers, is the Restaurant or Retail shopper in the 18-40 age range .  If this isn't your customers than may I suggest you avoid yelp like the plague. Here's why .

Yelp Tips 

  • 1.  You can never ever remove your Business information.,  If a competitor in your smaller yelp niche wants to ruin you , by God he will use Yelp to do it.  Yelp is a WMD in the wrong hands.
  • 2. If you are a NEW business , you are going to have some bad days, weeks or months; expect it.  What some people might forget after you have finally reached your cruising altitude will be immortalized on Yelp.  You'll never "live it down"  in fact you may not be around to live it down since most new business fail in the first five years anyhow, but rest assured that those 1 and 2 star yelp reviews will hasten your demise.
  • 3. Yelp's magic show . One day you have lots of five star reviews and a great overall reputation , then those 5 stars disappear leaving your reputation hanging in limbo .  Come to find out if you click around a bit those 5 stars are hidden behind the Yelp curtain .  How do you get those 5 star reviews back you ask - Visa, Master Card, American Express ?  Some small business owners ( probably the majority of those 600 + claims to the FTC ) claim that Yelp promised to make those 5 star reviews reappear and those 1 and 2 star reviews buried if the business purchased yelp advertising at a $300 plus a month price tag. 

Yelp Complaints

Yelp is popular , there's no denying it .  Yelp can help your business too.  It's important to know that Yelp can also ruin your reputation and destroy your business , unapologetically .  If you feel your business has been harmed by Yelp due to unfair business practices report your experience to the FTC ,and on other online review sites .  We'd suggest you review Yelp on their Yelp page but , they don't have one and that speaks volumes to us.  Before you create a Yelp page for your business please consult a professional or do a lot of due diligence on your own so you don't become a victim yourself.  If you can avoid a Yelp page when your business is starting out , do.  Wait until you have built a positive reputation that is passed through word of mouth and on other more reputable review sites before you take your business to the masses on Yelp.

Monday, September 9, 2013

When to find a blog manager

Just like any small business there comes a time ( hopefully) where a blogger needs to find some help with their blog because their blog ( business) has grown.  Usually they use Facebook or other social media sites for referrals from fellow bloggers for assistants and their experiences run the gamut from fabulous to downright frightful.  At some point there may be so many balls in the air that managing your blog, and growing list of freelance employees, that something or someone is going to drop.  When you reach that point it may be time to consider hiring a blog manager.

Who needs a blog manager and why ?
Blogging is not that old of a pastime or career and it is safe to say that seriously lucrative blogging has only been going on since the early 2000's .  As the blogging field grew so did the need for Blog Managers.  Some people may be surprised to know that many posts from their favorite bloggers are not the original work of the OB ( original Blogger - it sounded better than the BO - Blog Owner )  and that a small army of ghost bloggers or contributors create the content the readers subscribe to .  Aside from creating good content the blog owner has to promote that content across social media and then try to sell advertising space on their site.  Let's not even talk about SEO and blog design - that's an incredible amount of hats to wear....
1. Blogger
2. Social Media manager
3. Marketer
4. Web Designer
5.Search engine marketer
7. Project manager
8. Secretary

With a blog manager instead of an army of freelancers you can refocus yourself on what you enjoyed about blogging in the first place.  A lot of burnout occurs among bloggers because the freedom and enjoyment they got from blogging as a pastime is replaced by the burden of professionally blogging.  A blog manager can relieve some or all of the burdens and responsibility of blogging and grease the wheels of your blog to see what works well and what doesn't.

What to look for in a blog manager

 A good blog manager will work closely with the blogger to maintain the feel of the blog and align themselves with the blogger's vision while alleviating the stress that can come with a professional blog.  Blog managers may also have connections in the blogging, advertising and marketing world which will open up additional income streams and marketing opportunities for the blogger.
Instead of the OB having to manage contributors, designers , advertisers etc.. they utilize the Blog Managers skills in project management and act as the final authority on all blog decisions.  Blog management can be very affordable and sometimes even more lucrative for the OB .  some Blog Managers work by the hour where others offer monthly contracts or a la carte services .  Be sure that the Manager has a good reputation among bloggers and can bring something to the table such as an expertise in design, seo, writing etc.. that makes the expense of hiring a blog manager worth it.  The lesson is not to wait until you or your blog "drops" look into hiring help before your blog grows beyond your control.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Losing position in the SERPs - is your SEO at fault?

Do you check your Alexa score monthly ( or weekly) are you seeing the dreaded RED BOX ?  You're losing traffic to your blog and probably SERP position as well.  You think you are up to date with Panda but your blog is getting mauled in Google?  You, or that overpaid person you have doing your SEO  for you, is doing something wrong.  So what steps should you take to stem the SEO bleeding and turn your red box green ?

Analysis : When was the last time you compared month to month traffic across a year?  For example tracking your visitors July 2012 vs July 2013 - are things changing, how are they changing? did you used to get a lot of traffic from Google , another blog, Social media ?  Knowledge is power .  You wont know what to change if you don't know what is wrong.

Diversification :  A lot of you are taking a beating from Panada because your larger sources of traffic are now deemed "spammy"  some have even closed shop .  Bye, Bye visitors, bye , bye.  If you have a lifestyle blog you CAN NOT depend on reliable traffic from other blogger websites.  Blogs come and go and if you are getting more than 10% of any traffic from one source that is not a search engine you need to diversify.  Losing 10% of your traffic overnight would hurt your blog , wouldn't it?  Reach out to a larger network of bloggers, websites , research those keywords ,  write better SEO optimized content and learn to promote it properly. Also remember this, Google isn't the only game in town.  Do you think being on the first page of Bing for all your keywords you are trying to impress Google with wouldn't earn you plenty of traffic?

Education :  Do you REALLY understand how the Search Engine Algorithms work, does your SEO "expert" ?   Keep abreast of all the changes , not only in Google but Bing  as well.  If you have someone else handling your SEO make sure they are consistently showing you the results of their efforts , just like 7th grade math class - make them show their work.  Be sure they aren't relying on Black hat techniques to temporarily boost your rank only to have Google and the other search engines banish you to SERP purgatory - you are ultimately responsible for your SEO.

Whatever you do don't play the victim and blame the Panda.  There is plenty you can do on your own to improve your SEO and your search engine position.  However if you need SEO or SEM help for your blog visit us on
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