Blogging and Beyond Podcast

I’ll be one of the guest experts in Blogging and Beyond: Episode 8that is taking place March 1, 2007, 8:00 a.m. PT (11 a.m. ET).

This live show is lead by the Blogging and Beyond with The Blog Squad, Patsi Krakoff, Psy. D., and Denise Wakeman. We’ll be covering how to “Market Your Business with Articles” with a focus on where the blogging world intersects with the article writing & marketing worlds.

To listen in, just click on the above blogging & beyond link and look in the right navigation of their site to listen to the live streaming show. You can post questions for the show on either their blog entry thread or you can ask me your article blogging questions in this thread (and I’ll share your questions with Patsi & Denise).


Denise and Patsi also coached their ideal client, Erik Feder:

We talked about the RESOURCE BOX during the interview and this article is worth a quick review: Article Marketing 101: The Perfect Author Resource Box

Author Image Gallery Spotlights

This morning we’ve been reviewing structural changes within the site that haven’t been updated or changed in a long time and I’ve noticed that the Professional Image Gallery feature has had quite a few new submissions.

EzineArticles expert author, Diana Chaloux‘s professional image gallery shows off her expertise in the fitness industry as a certified trainer and fitness DVD producer. This is exactly how we had hoped the professional image gallery feature would be used. Nice job Diana!

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QC Milestone Reached

3-4 months ago, we had set the goal to have 100% of every article reviewed by 2 human editors. Today, that objective has been reached.

It wasn’t as easy as we thought because an entire sub-system platform had to be built to manage what we now call the “QC Queue” and summary & detailed QC reporting. We had a simple QC system for about a year now, but it was only used to spot check performance. The first 1,000 articles have now floated through the 2nd generation article QC process and March 2007 will be the first month with 100% of all articles that are accepted will be human reviewed by (2) separate editors.

This means our in-house editorial team can now be evaluated on a quantity and quality performance metrics rather than quantity alone. It also means less errors in future approved articles, leading to a greater level of trust with the various stakeholders in our site.

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Social Media Optimization

Three new categories were added to help cover the exploding Social Media trend:

  1. Internet & Online Businesses: Social-Networking
  2. Internet & Online Businesses: Social-Bookmarking
  3. Internet & Online Businesses: Social-Media

Social Networking is fueled by sites such as MySpace, LinkedIN, Ryze and savvy web 2.0 netpreneurs that are helping their own web audience discover new ways to network with each other online.

Social Bookmarking or human filtered search as some call it, is about bringing together large groups of people online to share bookmarks or links of interest for like minded people to find. An example might be Del.icio.us, Last.fm, Furl.net, Technorati or Stumbleupon.

Social Media or SMO (Social Media Optimization) as it’s known in some circles is really about the strategies to setup social media components into your website, communication or online marketing campaign strategy toolbox. Think Blogs, Tags, Comment systems and all of the underlying technology that supports SMO.

If you’re an expert in any one of these exciting new areas, here’s your first call for article submissions on Social Media topics.

Why Platinum Is Earned

If you are at our Platinum level membership, you probably didn’t know that we added a form to help BASIC level members tell us why we should upgrade their account to Platinum. This custom form template pops up after they have exhausted their 10 initial submissions and it encourages them to give us 3 bullets of reasons why we should immediately upgrade them to Platinum unlimited status.

I’ve removed the names to protect their privacy, but thought I’d share some of the ‘reasons’ submitted in the last 24 hours:

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How To Attract Being Physically Lean

Our team is in relatively pretty good shape physically, but being in front of the computer all day and living in the freezing cold Midwest combined with our crappy fast food supply is a recipe for anything but being physically ‘lean’… so from time to time, I share tips with our team as a way to share what I know while putting some self-evaluation pressure on myself to walk my own talk.

Here is a copy of the email I sent our team today on the 20 quick tips to help you attract a physical state of being lean.

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RSS Marketing Interview with Rok Hrastnik

My friend and EzineArticles expert author Rok Hrastnik interviewed me yesterday for his 2007 edition of his RSS e-book. He gave me permission to share his questions along with some of my answers:

1. Could you please give us an overview of how you are using RSS for your marketing purposes?

We’re not using RSS for marketing purposes as the primary goal, but rather we use RSS for pre-qualified visitor traffic-attraction purposes.

EzineArticles has RSS feeds for every category and one for every single expert author listed on our site (45k+). For a select few publishers in a closed test, we also have a keyword RSS feed. Lastly, we’ve made our RSS feeds compliant with the browser standards that allow users to subscribe to RSS feeds very easily.

2. What general results are you seeing from your RSS marketing? Have you seen it drive traffic from the RSS search engines, drive new subscriptions … ?

I’m not certain it’s driving new subscriptions, but I do know that after search engines and email alerts, that our RSS feeds drive the next highest level of traffic to the site daily. This comes largely from a combination of RSS readers who subscribe directly to a particular set of feeds and from niche publishers who add the respective EzineArticles RSS feed to further add value to their web visitors. Example: A Yoga website could add our Yoga RSS feed to display automatically the freshest Yoga articles on their site. They win because they expose their users to a more complete set of information, we win because this drives highly desired and qualified traffic back to our articles and our authors win because they get more exposure.

3. What does it take to manage such an incredibly large number of RSS feeds? What system are you using?

Since 2003 we’ve been developing our own CMS (Content Management System)… So, it’s all done in-house and it’s full automated.

4. Could you please take us through your implementation process step-by-step?

How we implemented our RSS feeds would most likely be of no value to your readers who don’t have the benefit of an in-house CMS development team. I can tell you that we’re only scratching the surface of how RSS feeds will be used to grow the site and attract more qualified visitors.

We have not begun educating our publishers on how to intall RSS feeds in their own website as this varies widely depending on which CMS they are using. Most of the CMS engines today have RSS modules but I’m not sure they are as flexible or customizable as they should be/could be.

5. What are the key learning points you’ve learned through your RSS experience that you can share with other marketers?

  • Have them… meaning, get RSS feeds up on your site immediately if you don’t have them.
  • Test them often and make sure they work.
  • Only offer PARTIAL-FEEDS. I have yet to see any good arguments for FULL-FEED RSS feeds.
  • Watch for funny character-sets that can break RSS feeds… and pay close attention to the mechanical quality of your article SUMMARIES (because this is what the RSS reader sees).
  • Use your email newsletter to educate your audience on how to use your RSS feeds.
  • If you accept user-submitted content, give them the ability to have their own RSS feeds so they can display them also on their own website.
  • Autoconfigure your RSS feeds to be browser aware so those with RSS-intelligent browsers can bookmark your RSS feeds.

6. How well does RSS work with e-mail marketing?

A better question to ask: How well can you use e-mail marketing to convince your users and publishers to use your RSS feeds for their and your benefit?

I hope everyone enjoyed the interview. :-)
Any RSS questions?

Kim Duke – Author Spotlight

EzineArticles expert author, Kim Duke, the Sales Diva, recently got my attention when she beat me in Ali Brown’s affiliate partner sales last month.

This Canadian sales diva provides savvy and sassy (don’t we all kind of like that sometimes) sales training for women small business owners (guess that doesn’t include me any more) and has carved a nice niche for herself… not to mention her articles are FUN to read!

From an article writing & marketing perspective, here’s what Kim is doing right:

  1. Submits articles consistently over time.
  2. Uploaded her professional author photo.
  3. Excellent resource box that includes a full http:// URL without any periods after it (a common mistake).
  4. Her articles are punchy, bullet point and numbered list driven with just the right amount of bold & italics (without over doing it).
  5. Kim has carefully and purposely kept her articles all in the same related categories and if you read them, you know she is speaking directly towards her ideal client. This strengthens her credibility.

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New York vs. Florida Expert Authors

Our team is working on producing a comprehensive report designed to tell me which states (out of the 50 United States) produce the most authors and which produce the most articles that we are able to accept. Today, I’m going to give you a sneak peak at the data that is ~95% accurate:

One of the most interesting things is that we have nearly identical numbers of expert authors in New York (1,732) and Florida (1,790), yet authors in New York produce 92% MORE articles than their Florida counter part. Authors in Florida submitted 16,967 articles that we accepted vs. authors from New York that submitted 32,670 articles that we accepted. Wow, eh?

Not surprisingly, California expert authors lead in both numbers of authors (3,763) and in number of articles submitted that were accepted (44,950). California represents 15.5% of all expert authors from the USA and 19% all all USA article submissions.

Honorable mention goes to the BIG state of Texas, producing the 4th largest number of expert authors (1,576) and 4th largest number of articles submitted that were accepted (13,664).

New Valentines Day Category- Massage

Happy Valentines Day! (Did you like our new Valentines day EzineArticles logo?)

We figured today would be a great day to release a brand new article category: Massage (professional)

Articles that would be perfect for the new massage category might include:

  • Massage styles & theories
  • Business Ethics/Boundaries in Massage
  • Massage Practice Management
  • Therapeutic/Relaxation Massage
  • Medical Massage
  • Reiki/Lomi Lomi/Acupressure/Cranial Sacral – Energy Therapies
  • Spa Services/Hydrotherapy/Vichy Shower Therapy
  • Aromatherapy & Essential Oils for Bodyworkers
  • Swedish, Thai, Reflexology, Pregnancy, & Sports Massage Techniques
  • Deep Tissue, Shiatsu, Watsu, Hot Stone Massage, etc.
  • Massage Practice Marketing
  • Massage & Anatomy Fundamentals
  • Massage Schools & Certification / Training Issues
  • Alternative Healing, Holistic & Massage Therapies

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