What I Told the Bloggers at Social Media Marketing World
If I’ve done it right, this post goes live about 15 minutes into my speech. I’m no Christopher Penn, so it’s likely I’ve done it wrong. But I wanted to tell you about the first line of my speech tomorrow. Or my first lines. It’ll go something like this:
This morning, after Jacq left for the gym, I spoke to two different bots on my phone. Poncho gave me the weather forecast and a little weird joke. Joy asked me how I was feeling because she wants to help me keep track of my mood and mental health. These are called chatbots and they’re part of one of the new splinters of what used to be called the web.
A Splintered Web Gets Even More Fragmented
My buddy Martin is all into virtual reality. He met a girl he loves and now they’re going to marry in VR. There are lots of people in Martin’s tribe of “VR will take over the world.” Facebook purchased VR platform company Oculus Rift for 2 Billion dollars. Many people are exploring VR as a new and very important medium for entertainment and communication.
I’m very much sold on the concept of voice-driven interfaces for the web. And I know that Amazon Echo (often called Alexa) is a great first foray into how we normal humans (I’m pretending to be normal – shush!) will start getting into this world. But now that I’m totally sold on the idea? Alexa – get smarter now, please.
It’s All An Illusion – That’s the First Problem
Here’s the real problem. We think Alexa is Jarvis. ( You know who Jarvis is, Right?) It’s not like that. Alexa isn’t really “smart.” She’s just trained rather well to listen to our requests, and several combinations of our words key pre-programmed responses. I know this. You know this. But it’s SO easy to forget. We want her to be smart. Wait. Her. It’s a female voice interface. But it’s not really a “her,” is it?
People aren’t reading as much as they were, as it turns out. According to a study from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans are only reading 19 minutes a day. Contrast this with a recent report showing that people are watching over 1 BILLION hours of YouTube video per day. (I know this isn’t apples to apples, but those numbers are both staggering in their own right.) This is one of two reasons why you should consider adding videoblogging to your content marketing plans.
How to Get Started With Videoblogging: The Strategy
Strategically, this is a marketing effort and should be treated as such. The goal of video blogging is to create media that is more personable and that helps your buyers and prospects connect more with you and your company. In a big company, this means the marketing department owns the creation of these kinds of video assets, but if you don’t create video with the employees that people want to actually learn more from, this won’t go far. If you’re a small or solo business, you’re all the departments anyway.
In learning how to build my own news platform, I’ve taken a renewed interest in reading through lots and lots of blog posts every day, searching for trends and interesting perspectives different than mine. In that process, I’ve come to realize something.
Nobody Reads Your Corporate Blog Because It’s Boring
I’m not the first to say this. It’s been said for years. Really smart people have written books around it.
Affiliate marketing is a way for publishers like you and me to promote products and services that we like and use to the people we serve through our platform. It’s my favorite kind of marketing arrangement because when used appropriately, it’s the perfect match of a person (me) promoting a product they like (made by someone else) to the people that have chosen to give me their attention (you). I want to talk about what it takes to start affiliate marketing.
Start Affiliate Marketing
Let me state two details at the beginning: there will be affiliate links in this post as there are in lots of my posts. (I disclose that fact on my about page, which is good to do and also the law in the US – more on that later.) Second, these are my simple methods for affiliate marketing. There are far more intelligent and complex ways to do this executed by the really smart people I’ve met at events like Affiliate Summit. Start with me, but if you get really involved in this space, go to that conference.
I’ve been struggling with my new book, but not in the way that most people mean that. It’s not that I have too few ideas or too many ideas. I’ve got millions of ideas and I know how to cull them. It’s just that I need something specific to happen with this book, and I need to craft it well to make that work. No, not a bestseller. Been there. But in the process of this, I’ve learned a lot and I want to share some with you.
I’m Not A Group Kind of Person, I Think
For most of my life, I’ve been averse to mastermind groups or things like it. I’m not good at clubs. I don’t attend any regular meetings of any kind. One reason is that I worry that if I get involved in something like this, maybe I’ll hog it and try to make it all about me. I worry also that maybe all the ideas will be bad. Or that people will be pushy. Or that I won’t get a turn to share.
“I’m getting sick of all the negative news on Facebook.” Has a friend said this to you? Have you heard more and more of this? Are YOU tired of feeling like the information scrolling down your Facebook feed isn’t what you care about? You can build a simple alternative.
What If You Controlled Your Own Attention?
Before we all got sucked into the fan blades of Facebook (and I’m not anti-Facebook – I’m just explaining that there’s this other “build it yourself” Internet that came before it and still exists), the blogging revolution was delivered to us via RSS (Really Simple Syndication), largely thanks to internet pioneer Dave Winer. The name of the game was subscribing to blogs. We’d discover these by looking at the blog rolls (lists of other blogs you might like) that were a fixture on the sidebar of our websites.
When you make your own game in life and business, there’s a tight pairing between an opportunity and a problem and it has one word: freedom. When you can do anything, sometimes you lock up and do nothing. Or nothing useful. What should you do when you feel stuck?
That Stuck Feeling
When faced with freedom, we tend to get into a mental traffic jam. “What should I do?” “There’s so much.” “I’ve got no time.” “I’ve got too much time.” “I don’t have enough customers.” “I have too many customers.”
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Staples. All opinions are mine. They just paid me to give YOU my opinions. It’s a win!
This survey by Staples came out just as small business owners are getting back to business in 2017. In it, Staples asked small business owners a number of questions to gauge their mindset as 2017 kicks off. And that mindset is pretty positive, according to survey recipients. People plan to hire more staff. They plan to invest more in their business. And though I didn’t take the survey, I agree with the 67% of people who think that business tax reform should be the administration’s top priority this year. As a small business owner myself (there are only three of us here), I still get quite clobbered by taxes and would love the ability to continue thriving as an owner in coming years.