Entertainment

Boost Your Blog Traffic: Post About Current Events & Hot Topics

Posted on November 3, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Communications, Content, Entertainment, Marketing Strategy, SEO, Technology, Website Design | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Kim Kardashian Kris Humphries Wedding

Don't be like Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. Choose Web Technology that will last more than 72 days.

Can Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries push this blog post to Page One of Google? Let’s find out.

This post is actually a follow-on to one I wrote at the end of October about the keywords people search on that bring our posts up on Page One of search engine results pages (SERPs). One of the examples was a post I wrote about Apple’s new SiRi app for the iPhone 4s and IBMs artificial intelligence counterpart Watson.

Comparing the two turned out to be a very hot search topic and sent scads of traffic to my blog that might not have found it otherwise. Some of those seekers subscribed and are now part of my blog community. Since the flow of hits from Siri Watson searches hasn’t yet ebbed, I suppose that this post will come up, too.

This has led me to think about how useful posting about news events and hot topics can be to building blog traffic. A precept of inbound Marketing is that people are already online searching for the information we provide and all we have to is to help them to find us.

Think ‘news you can use’. What’s going on today that you can write about – that either falls into your area of expertise, or that you can use as a metaphor for something that does?

As an experiment, I’m going to use the next couple of paragraphs to compare the Kim Kardashian Kris Humphries divorce to what can happen if you happen to choose the wrong website designer and technology platform in a web 2.0 world.

Like Kardashian and Humphries you may be dazzled by a package that promises a fairy tale online future – a beautiful website with great design, lots of pictures, built with dazzling Flash technology that animates the whole shebang. While the price tag might not be $15 million, it’s still a pretty penny, but, you feel, worth every shekel.

Fast forward to 72 days after the launch. You wonder why you’re not getting any leads from the new site. The title tag announces your company name, after all. Great if anyone is searching for you specifically. Lousy if they’re searching generically for what you do.

You complain to a friend who explains that Flash is basically invisible to search engines and not supported by the Apple OS. And by the way, why don’t you have key words and search terms in your title tag before your company name – SEO best practices?

You also soon learn that if your site had a connected blog, you could drive lots of traffic to it. If it had a conversion form and you had the ability to add a piece of content on a hot topic for visitors to download in exchange for providing their email addresses, you could start to build a nice list of leads who you could then nurture with more useful information and who would likely become customers.

But you can’t do that because you built a beautiful online brochure not made for an interactive internet environment. Just like Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, you accept the fact that you and your new site have irreconcilable differences and you kiss it all goodbye – including the cost of development.

Maybe you should have looked a little bit closer before taking the plunge. The dream dashed, like Kim, you’d might as well head off to Australia to pitch your business there and start anew.

OK. I’m going to tag this post with all of the hot topic names and let’s see if Kim and Kris followers bring us up to the top of the Google world! I’ll let you know – or try googling some of the keywords in the tags and see if you find New PR Words and Music. Let me know, ok??

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Can Google+ Save Jazz?

Posted on July 3, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Business Management, Communications, Entertainment, Google, Human Business, Inbound Marketing, Jazz, Leadership, Marketing, Media, Small Business, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

For those of you who may not know, in addition to addressing how the Web is influencing the evolution of marketing, this blog is from time to time where I can share my passion for jazz. This post combines the two.

For the Future of Jazz

When it comes to creativity and discipline, there are no better role models than jazz musicians at the top of their game. Yet the number of venues where we can hear jazz in the US– where it was invented – shrinks every year. American jazz artists must go to Europe orAsia to achieve rock star (pardon the expression) status.

Last night we heard an awesome jazz quartet at the Village Vanguard in NYC anchored by the trio Renee Rosnes on piano, Peter Washington on bass and the spectacular Lewis Nash on drums. Every time I have such an experience, it makes me think about and hope for the future of the art form.

Could it be that Google+ – now in beta – holds the answer?

Because of my interest in this phenomenal music, I joined a LinkedIn group called Jazz in Business, which I’ve mentioned here before – as recently as yesterday. I started a discussion there by asking how members are using social media and the Web in general to promote and enable their music.

There have been a number of comments describing use of Facebook and Twitter to promote gigs and CDs. One member, Michael Gold, PhD, a brilliant jazz upright bass player who uses video Skype calls to teach and rehearse with students, posted a highly provocative comment. Michael, who performed in NY for years, has founded a consultancy called Jazz Impact in the Minneapolis area.

“We are at the beginning of a new business platform (in jazz).

Eventually the real-estate that houses clubs and performance spaces will be manifested in virtual space.

The challenge is to extract the core value of all that has worked in the past and reinvent it using the new tools that exist. That’s called creative destruction- a phrase coined by the economist Joseph Schumpeter in the 1940’s to describe what he saw as the escalating process of innovation brought about by new technologies.

Ultimately we’re all going to become “dot communists.” If we can just let go of the gravity of past (as in passed) success and look forward relentlessly, we’ll see it and we’ll make it emerge.”

With thoughts from last night about the future of jazz still fresh, I awoke today, got some coffee and went to my email, including Chris Brogan’s blog, which I read daily. Today he posted 50 observations about Google+ from his early explorations as an invitee to its beta.

Two jumped out at me that describe how a couple of Google+ features may change the entertainment and performance landscape:  

  • If Google Music integrates into this platform the way YouTube is now, it’s a powerful entertainment media platform instantly.
  • How long before we see our first Hangout live music “jam?” That’s one record button away from being supercool. And one “name your price” Google Checkout tweak away from being instant micro content for sale.

As formerly ‘bricks and mortar only’ activities – including jazz clubs and festivals — are enabled to move online and access global audiences, there is hope for my beloved jazz and the amazing artists who sacrifice much to play it and keep it alive!

Here’s a link to NPR’s site where you can hear the Renee Rosnes trio’s performance on Jazzset along with vibes player Steve Nelson. Enjoy!

 

How do you envision the Web’s role in the future of music?

 

 

 

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Bury the Lead at Wounded Knee…NOT!

Posted on September 21, 2010. Filed under: Content, Entertainment, Inbound Marketing, Jazz, Marketing, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , |

This post is about starting your content with the right message. Musically…Listen to jazz singer Mark Murphy tell us that “This Could be the Start of Something Big”!!!

Dear readers, when you’re creating content for your website or blog, start with what’s of most interest to your audience. This will help you win their attention and positive actions.

I just read some posts and content in preparation for a meeting with a potential client. In most of them, the prospect buried the information of greatest interest to readers below a bunch of facts that were more about his objectives.

We’re all subject to this pitfall – me included. I constantly monitor my own writing for whether I’m considering my readers more than my reasons for writing the content in the first place. I don’t always succeed. Sometimes I just want to make a point and trust the readers to trust that I have their interest at heart.

But not everyone reading our posts has enough history with us to give us the benefit of the doubt. That’s why we more often have to opt on the side of appealing to what interests them.

In the example that sparked this post, the writer, describing a seminar service, did rightly identify the audience – who it’s for – at the top of the post. However, the post then gave information about the schedule and the requirements for participating. It would have been better to first state the benefits to participants. Once they buy in, they’ll tune in to the where, when and how much!

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How to Succeed in Magazine Publishing: A Winning Formula

Posted on September 17, 2010. Filed under: Advertising, Communications, Content, Entertainment, Jazz, Marketing, News, Nonprofit, Not-for-profit, Public Relations Marketing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In honor of Moffly Media’s inaugural A-List Awards (read on) today’s musical post is “Shaking the Blues Away” sung by Doris Day. eMail readers need to log-on to listen.

The other evening I had the pleasure of attending an inaugural awards event created by Moffly Media, a local magazine publishing company here in Fairfield County, Connecticut. It turned out to be one more step on a successful path that is keeping the company growing as other publishers are shedding titles and even closing their doors.

The A-List Awards brought back a touch of glamour that hasn’t been seen or felt around here since the onset of the Great Recession. It was done just right; not over the top. And, the awards were perfectly targeted to the advertiser and subscriber base of Moffly’s décor title, atHome Magazine. The well-produced program recognized the top area talent in interior and landscape design and architecture.

It was a great strategic move. And it was handled with sensitivity given the fact that we’re not quite sure we should be celebrating yet. But it sure felt wonderful to all who packed the landmark Westport Country Playhouse. The event benefited a fitting organization – Habit for Humanity of Fairfield County – which made us all feel better about feeling good!

The evening aptly demonstrated the concept at the core of Moffly Media’s success – local community. The family-owned operation began in 1987 when Jack Moffly retired from a 33-year career with Time, Inc. He and his wife, Donna bought the 40-year-old Greenwich Review and ran it as publisher and editor respectively.

They changed the name to Greenwich Magazine. They made it a beautiful glossy dedicated to the upscale Greenwich lifestyle and the singular people who populate the town. Most of all they contributed to the fabric of the community through their personal involvement in its life.

 

Using the same uber-local approach, Jack expanded into other towns with Westport Magazine, New Canaan-Darien Magazine, Stamford Magazine, as well as atHome. In 2007 he stepped down as publisher and turned over the reins to son Jonathan Moffly, who had joined the family business in 1998. Jonathan was involved in the expansion of titles over the years and since becoming publisher has added online, events and custom media divisions.

Moffly Media has been bold in trying new things, yet it’s grown in measured steps that maintain its basic values and leverage its capabilities. If something works, they apply it elsewhere. For instance, a larger-format private label magazine it developed for a client was so stunning that it led to a re-design of atHome in the same mold.

The company hires top people who are knowledgeable about the towns in which they work and/or their areas of specialization. For example, it tapped Camilla Herrera, longtime features writer for the Stamford Advocate, as editor of the new Stamford Magazine when she became available after newsroom cutbacks at the daily. And James M. Gabal, another Time, Inc. vet recently joined to head Custom Media.

The Moffly’s are terrific business people. They know how to add value for advertisers. The A-List Awards are a perfect example, as are the quarterly DesignDistrict evenings they run to showcase advertisers in the towns they serve. Print and online advertising and sponsorships are another way. They understand PR, too, and the behavior required to maintain a stellar reputation.

The Moffly team seems to share a sense of humanity and respect for all its constituents – readers, advertisers and the advertising/PR/marketing agencies who interact with them. They’re good folks. And it’s nice to see good people succeed!

Other publishers – even those who put out national titles – can learn from Moffly Media’s model. Each audience is, in essence, a ‘local community’. Treating them as such works in print, online and in person everywhere.

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Another Marketing Lesson from the Jazz World

Posted on August 29, 2010. Filed under: Communications, Entertainment, Inbound Marketing, Jazz, Marketing, Public Relations Marketing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Read on to see why today’s tune is “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” from the new CD “Spiral” by Dr. Lonnie Smith. You can purchase it at your local music store or at www.palmetto-records.com.

As anyone who reads/listens to this blog knows, I’m blown away by jazz. Over the decades I’ve attended countless gigs, jams and festivals. I can’t remember one that wasn’t in some way joyful. Every once in awhile, though, a particular performance stands out from the rest for one reason or another.

Last weekend my darling Jeff surprised me with a Saturday night in New York City to hear the legendary Hammond B-3 organ player Dr. Lonnie Smith play tunes from his new album “Spiral”. Jeff knows I adore the gritty, soulful sound of the B-3 — a throwback to the fifties and sixties.

 "Dr Lonnie Liston Smith - Spiral"

Now, I’ve heard ‘The Doctor’ many times over the years playing with a who’s who of jazz greats. I knew I’d be in for a sweet hour of music. But this performance reached a particularly exciting level.

Why? The seasoned veteran rounded out a classic jazz organ trio with two incredible young side men – Jamire Williams on drums and Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar. The results of this collaboration across generations – both on the new CD and live — are stunning!

Dr. Smith brought to the stage his deep knowledge of jazz improvisation, and of its roots in gospel and the blues. Williams and Kreisberg brought the dexterity and stamina of youth – along with a bag of fresh ideas. They all brought open minds — the desire and ability to listen to each other with attention and respect.

I’ve never heard ‘The Doctor’ sound better! The huge grin on his face showed elation that the future of his beloved jazz will be bright. I hadn’t heard the other two musicians before, but they were obviously engaged in living up to the legend — and succeeded!

So what does this have to do with marketing? First of all, the battle-scarred B-3 and its ancient amplifier reminded me of the manual Underwood typewriter that was the instrument of my early creative writing. Even though I’ve turned it in for a computer, as a veteran counterpart in my own profession do I identify with Lonnie Smith? You bet!

He confirms the benefit of keeping one’s mind open to what’s new. Next month, for the second year, I’ll be attending the Inbound Marketing Summit near Boston. This event explores the evolution of marketing in our online world. There I’ll collaborate with and learn from the best young minds in marketing today. I’ll be listening attentively for new tools and ideas that I can combine with my experience and judgment to raise my work for clients to soaring new heights.

The marketing world has never been more exciting and I’ve never had more fun at my work. Part of the reason I’m writing this post is to use the lesson from jazz to inspire businesses to embrace the now and the future. Jump in and take a look at how the evolution of marketing technology can make your business more collaborative, creative and successful.

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Can Good News Sell?

Posted on May 17, 2010. Filed under: Communications, Entertainment, Inbound Marketing, Jazz, News, Social Media, TV, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

You’ll soon learn why the musical post today is the most classic jazz performance of Route 66 by the Nat “King” Cole Trio with the trumpet of Harry “Sweets” Edison — my favorite version of my favorite “road” song.

I hate to think how many years ago I pitched our local daily paper with an idea for a “Good News” section – an antidote to the remaining 95 percent of its content. It was during the former recession of the late 1980’s, early 1990’s. Given my own bad-news weariness and that of many of my friends and colleagues, it seemed to me that people were hungry for reminders that all was not wrong with the world. My idea was turned down flat by the then-publisher. “Good news doesn’t sell,” he said.

As we inch our way out of this latest – and deeper – recession, I’m once again craving some good news, especially after seeing this morning’s news including the inadequate ‘fix’ for the oil spill in the Gulf. But it seems that not much has changed in the commercial media and entertainment world when it comes to the projects they’re willing to get behind; the Susan Boyle story notwithstanding.

I just watched the pilot for a reality/documentary TV show that, unfortunately, you all may not get to see. There are details I won’t get into, but the main reason is that the subject matter is too positive for the subject matter. I’ll explain.

Last week I received an email from an Oklahoma man named Edward Winterhalder, a foremost authority on the Harley Davidson motorcycle lifestyle. Ed found me through my Twitter profile (listen up you skeptics on the value of Social Media for business). My profile states: PR Professional, Inbound Marketing Consultant – and two-up on a Harley Road Glide. The latter qualification refers to my weekend passion – riding behind the love of my life, Jeff Levine, a Viet Nam vet and talented psychotherapist/relationship counselor, on his Harley Davidson.Ellie & the Harley Road Glide

Ed was looking for communications representation for his six books (fiction & nonfiction) and TV concept Biker Chicz. He thought that because I ride, and live in his native Connecticut to boot, that I’d be a good fit. He was right in more ways than one. I’m also a fan of good news.

He’s already produced an earlier pilot, “Living on the Edge,” which he sent along with copies of the books to familiarize me with his work. Except for maybe his first book, everything else he’s created addresses the positive side of motorcycle clubs, something I understand well.

Google Ed and you’ll find about 142,000 references. Unfortunately, most of these focus more on his early motorcycle experience as a leader of the Bandidos outlaw motorcycle club (even though only a small percentage of the group qualify for ‘outlaw’ status.)

Today, Ed is a successful real estate developer, as well as author and TV producer. His books are sold around the world, translated into a number of languages by his publishers abroad. The guy is a talented voice for the millions of solid citizens around the world – including my love and me – who come alive on a bike.

Not only do they love the ride, but they’re a generous group, raising millions of dollars annually for good causes too numerous to mention and just doing meaningful deeds. For example, Jeff rode with the Nam Knights motorcycle club here in the New York area to escort a badly-injured Iraq war veteran from a local re-hab hospital to his home way in upstate New York – a tangible tribute to honor his service and sacrifice.

Yesterday morning, we watched the DVD of Ed’s first TV pilot, “Living on the Edge.” The concept: Each episode follows the members of a motorcycle club somewhere in America, examining the causes they embrace and the good they accomplish. It delves into the lives of members and introduces us to their families and friends.

If you went by looks alone, you’d never guess that cast members in the pilot range from a UPS driver, to a project manager for a high-end residential developer, to a man who repairs communications antennae on towers, including atop the Empire State Building after 9-11 — 1000 feet off the ground. Included in each episode’s cast is a bike-riding corporate exec who gets the opportunity to immerse in the lifestyle of the group.

It was an engaging viewing experience, for sure. Yet the pilot is languishing in Hollywood, despite the fact that Winterhalder is well regarded there. Why? Entertainment executives are convinced that the viewing public would much rather watch motorcycle gang violence than the positive side of the Harley Davidson lifestyle.

That’s one more item to chalk up in the bad news category, but personally, I’d rather buy the good news. Anyone with me on this?

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