Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

My Last Blog Post…Because Blogs Are Dead

April 18, 2016 Leave a comment

Are blogs dead?

Are blogs dead?

A lot has changed in online marketing since I began this blog nearly seven years ago. Nobody is questioning the power of social media any more. Nor do they think it’s a fad. Facebook is a global phenomenon. We’ve learned to communicate in 144 characters or less. Foursquare was a fad and is fading.

There came a point in 2012 that I became convinced it wasn’t worth it for a new business to create their own blog. It’s just too hard to create content, promote it and develop an audience from scratch when Facebook has a built in audience and it is so much easier to share. Established blogs could keep creating for a while I thought.

Four years later, I don’t believe the same thing. It’s time for this blog to move to Facebook to its revamped native publishing system called Facebook Notes. So I’m moving over there to publish the latest online marketing articles. Some people may think I’m jumping the gun. Blogs aren’t dead! What about ads? What about my existing content?

Facebook didn’t kill blogs. Mobile devices did. Cell phone ownership is nearing 90% adoption reports Pew research. 68% are smart phones. Personal computer usage is actually starting to decline. Facebook has invested a lot of money and time into making a brilliant mobile platform and now it’s making improvements so no one will ever leave.

Consider the publishing enhancements that came out last year. For big media publishers Facebook users can view 3rd party content in Facebook without ever leaving the platform. It used to be if you opened a piece of shared content on your mobile device, it may or may not load properly. With content being Facebook optimized, that problem is gone. Look at Slate’s Facebook content as an example of this.

Let’s take a look at Notes. What began as a way to publish long Facebook posts has turned into a full blown blogging platform. Users can upload photos, embed videos, add links…all the things you can do on a blog. But it’s in Facebook and so easy to create and so easy to share. But what about search engines? Notes get indexed. Here’s an example of a test I did for my real estate site –


And the tweet I made about the note was also ranked on the first page.


What about affiliate income or selling ads? Make ad posts on your Facebook business page with your affiliate links embedded. Embed ads within your notes. Existing content is still valuable. When I was running SERP tests on Notes, I received a new pingback from a site linking to this blog. It made me reconsider what I was doing for about half a second. Notes also has metrics showing how many people have seen a post as well as how many people opened the Note to read it. In terms of functionality, it doesn’t lack a thing.

We’ve reached a point where findability is being surpassed by shareability. Mobile usage is making it more important to develop content on a standardized platform and Facebook is trying its best to become that platform. So I’m going to jump to that platform right now.

I’ll keep this blog around because it does still get found and it ranks well for certain keywords. There’s still a lot of great content here that I hope to update and repackage as a book some day. For now, there won’t be any new updates over here. But there will be plenty of great content over on Facebook and Twitter.

See you there!


Utah’s Top Blogger – Update and Write Ins

October 21, 2010 2 comments

Here’s the mid-contest update for the 2010 Utah’s Top Blogger competition.  First of all, we’re off to a great start with twice as many votes as last year’s entire contest.  We’ve also got a bunch of great write in nominees.  Here’s who has made the ballot thanks to your suggestions:

In addition to the previous nominees, this will be the final list of bloggers on the ballot.  If you like a blogger and don’t see them on this list…it’s certainly not exhaustive…feel free to write them in.  Those votes will be counted.

The competition will be extended until November 7th.  At that point, winners will be announced and prizes will be awarded.  I’m still trying to find someone who will host a small awards lunch. (Hint, hint) 

Here are the top five results so far:

1.  Holly Richardson – 59%
2. Nicole Warburton – 13%
3. Jesse Stay – 3%
3 (t). Chad Waite – 3%
5. Phil Windley – 2%
5.(t) Misty Fowler – 2%

It’s still anybody’s contest, so share the poll on Twitter, Facebook and anywhere else you can and get voting for your favorite Utah blogger!

P.S. – Thanks for nominating Janet Thaeler’s Newspapergrl blog, but since she’s helping with the contest by giving away her PR book we decided not to allow her to compete this year.

Utah’s Top Bloggers – 2010

October 7, 2010 6 comments

It’s that time of year!  What time?  Time to nominate and vote for Utah’s top bloggers.

Yes, this is a popularity contest, but I want to try and keep it fair. So, while you’ll have your favorite, please make your vote based on these conditions:

How often does your favorite blogger update?

How good are their posts?

How well does this blogger develop a sense of community?

Once you’ve answered those questions, please vote for one of the following top blogger nominees.  If someone you think deserves to be on this list, please enter their name on the poll.

Who are the nominees?

In no particular order, the nominees are:

Technology/Marketing Blogs

Mainstream Media Blogs

Deseret News Blogs

Ogden Standard Examiner

Salt Lake Tribune

In a league of their own (good)

In a league of their own (bad)

Real Estate Blogs

Political Blogs

Uncategorized Blogs

Go here to vote!

Change – Sometimes Waiting is a Good Thing…

June 3, 2010 6 comments

It’s been a while since I’ve “updated” this blog with a real article.  It’s not from a lack of trying.  I have two drafts sitting in queue that I never published and in the light of day, don’t know if they’re worth publishing.

Part of the reason is I’ve had to make a few reassessments on strategy and because there is so much reliance on third parties (Facebook) that seem to be reversing course as quickly as a feather in a hurricane, it’s actually been worthwhile to step back and watch.

This is not to say I haven’t been active or working.  Nor is the blog stagnant.  Anyone who follows the Twitter feed that posts on the right side knows it keeps moving.  So do the images.  In real life, I’ve been speaking regularly on Fridays and had two big events I presented at in May.

At one of them I actually said if I were starting this blog today, I wouldn’t do it.  I’d work more on my Facebook fan page than a blog.

Heresy!  I know.

Here’s what’s changed.

1.  Facebook “like” becoming ubiquitous.  This is a game changing development.  While it has created a privacy backlash, what it does is allow easy sharing of things like-minded (friends) people, well…like.  I compare it to watching Superbowl commercials during the big game.  Everybody looks forward to it.  If you were only shown commercials that interested you, wouldn’t you watch more of them?  That’s the like button.  It’s word of mouth on steroids and I recommend everybody install the button on their website.

The average Facebook user has 130 friends, so instead of speaking to one person with your message on a website, email or blog, you can speak to more by using Facebook.  On average, I see somewhere between 120 to 160 people on this blog.  If I published on Facebook, with the number of “fans” I currently have, I have a reach of 13,000.  It’s a multiplier effect.

Besides, pulling in the RSS feed of this blog to my Facebook page, each article is pulled into the “notes” feed which creates a separate, search engine optimized page, plus the multiplier effect.  I’ll let you know how this goes, but I suspect it will go quite well.

2.  Curating information is almost as important as creating information.  One of the really great things I got to do last week was meet in real life one of my online mentors Pat Kitano.  We both spoke at REbar Camp SLC and wound up sharing the stage all afternoon.

Pat has a great project he’s working on regarding local, breaking news.  He creates blogs that are essentially completely automated that develop an audience and search engine rankings in a very short time.  The site owner doesn’t have to do anything to keep it running and Pat has some great ideas on how to monetize them.  Meanwhile, the site owner, typically a real estate agent, gains great credibility because the sites are so informative and relevant on a local level.

A few months ago, Pat made a prescient observation about Facebook fan pages.  I’ve been playing around with FBML and really took his post to heart.  He said that within a year, stores would be putting their weekly circulars on Facebook.  That prediction inspired this page which I created using existing graphics or RSS feeds.  With the graphics, I have to manually update, which I’ve stopped doing.  I’ll soon dump those vendors or convince them to convert to RSS.  For Smith’s and Fresh Market, the feeds update automatically.  With Smith’s, the feed even sends an update automatically to Facebook when it updates.  I don’t have to do a thing.  I’m supplying great information that every local person should be interested in.  We all have to eat, don’t we?

3.  Automating social media in a meaningful way is actually possible.  At the same time Pat was presenting his breaking news idea, I was actually testing another idea that utilizes Google alerts.  By tying keyword sensitive alerts to my Twitter account, over the last 12 days, I’ve been able to automate my Twitter updates with useful information and gain new followers, i.e. build my audience.

I can actually create a second Twitter account that will update to a Facebook page with a lower frequency to match that platform.  The end result is I have an automatically updated social platform that people like and value.  I actually get more followers and retweets from this method than painstakingly creating and promoting my own content.  Of course I mix in my foursquare updates and personal content to create my own personal and authentic “voice.”

In the mean time, I’ve been anxiously waiting, but I still get to “update” this blog through Twitter and I update my fan page on a daily basis too.  You don’t have to “be everywhere,” but you need to be where the people are.

I love writing original content, but in a regular week when I’m finding content, posting it and creating in person live content, the ability to automate part of it is extremely valuable.  The fact that it’s shared and increases my audience is further proof of its’ worth.

Speaking of automation, Pat shared a semi-automated way to blog that I’m going to try out.  Until then, it will be slow, but steady….

Social Media for Businesses and Entrepreneurs

April 19, 2010 3 comments

Today’s article is a guest post by Jeremiah Kephart, owner of Coffee Connection in Salt Lake City.  I’ve followed his company’s social media efforts and he was a recent guest on the Web Marketing Weekly Show.

Hello everyone!  Jeremiah Kephart here, and I am writing a guest blog for Nigel Swaby. It’s a follow-up from our live interview that we did a week or so back about Social media for businesses and entrepreneurs.

As a quick refresher, I own a local business called Coffee Connection.

We refer to the website mentioned above a number of times during the live interview so you might want to go sign up so you can follow along… I even give you a free drink just for becoming a member, and who does that? 😉

And of course since we are discussing social media, you will probably also want to go and become a fan on Facebook.  And the all important twitter account is here.

Now that you’re a racing fan, let’s get going! :3

In the interview we were discussing how I had paid catastrophic amounts of money over the course of several years to advertise my business in a million + different local rags, on the radio, passing out flyers, screaming into a megaphone on top of a soapbox, and praying for the rain which never ended up falling, no matter how much money or time I spent on it.

Luckily for all of us small-business owners and startups, there is a solution…

And that solution is social media.

By the way, if you haven’t listened to the interview, you might want to go and do so because there’s a lot of good candid information in it.

Don’t worry, I’ll wait 🙂

Great.  Now I’ve done my very damnedest to maximize all of my time in ‘social media,’ because who really has the time to sit around and post all day? We’re business owners. We have enormous bags of bricks to carry!

This being the case, I really needed all of this ‘social media energy’ to count for something as much as humanly possible. So as discussed in the interview, what I did (which was really really easy and stuff that anyone at all can do) is I went and set myself up a Facebook fan page (that you just became a fan of right?!) and MySpace account for the coffee shop before I started tweeting.

Because it’s crazy crazy easy to “link up” your Twitter account to these two other accounts (just click on the links provided for this purpose in FaceBook and MySpace) there is really no reason not to do it.  It takes all of 10 min.

So now when you or your staff posts content, everything that you have to offer goes out not only to Twitter but also to Facebook and MySpace. It’s a no brainer.  So now you don’t have to manage all three accounts, or suffer an aneurysm when all three screens at your office are filled with Web 2.0 blogging.  Everything that I do multiplies itself just like magic.

Now that’s all cute and everything, but there’s more.  And if you’re already excited, hold onto your seat… because if you’re a business owner like I am you’re going to like this a lot.

The funny thing about being a business owner, is that you get to set a job description for your employees. So now as part of my employees job description, they are tweet monsters! To my knowledge (and I’m pretty damn up-to-date with this stuff) no one else anywhere has ever figured this out, until now. I expect it will be repeated everywhere in the universe inside two years, but that’ll be fun because you get to get the jump on it.

Now, I know how painful it sounds to sit in your office and generate original content all day long.  I get it.  I don’t actually like doing it by myself. While I recognize the power of social media, I just kind of have better stuff to do than to make it my full time job.  So this is all perfect for me.

You can hear all about how to do it in the interview.
It’s episode 14 btw.

Now, something that I don’t think I got to stress enough in the interview is that with a little creativity you can take what you’ve done with your social media efforts, and maximize it over and over and over and over, making it way more worthwhile that it seems from the offset. (I’d like to take a moment to note that if you’re one of those evil marketers out there that uses the dark side of the force and produces crap, this will probably not work for you.)  Because people just eat up solid good content.  They love it.  And they love it because there’s so much “dark side of the force marketing” out there plaguing the world.  When they feel like they have a solid and genuine connection with your company that’s real, and legitimate, you can then syndicate the hell out of it, and it goes off like fireworks.

Never produce crap!  It’s a big pet peeve of mine.

In fact, getting slightly off topic, I did an interview for IN magazine in which they titled me “Scene Maker in Salt Lake,” which you can read here – and I think you’ll see the spirit of what I’m talking about.  This article was a big big hit because it was so authentic.  And there are really only two keys to success with social media.  Half of your success will be your CREATIVE STRATEGY, but the other big half is AUTHENTICITY.

To wrap up, I’d like to just say thanks to Nigel for providing the show for everyone.  I think he has some really strong material and he’s all about resources that are fun and cutting edge, and as we all know there’s no better way to get ahead than to not be behind.

This is Jeremiah Kephart, signing out.

Ten Fearless Predictions About Internet Marketing in 2010

December 28, 2009 8 comments

It’s that time of year when predictions, goals and lists dominate the media.  Who am I not to oblige?  Here is my top ten list of Internet marketing trends that will dominate the year:

10.  Mobile media – The introduction of the Android operating system is going to create new demand for smart phones from the world’s largest manufacturers.  Gartner research predicts Android will be the number two operating system in the world by 2012.  That’s a lot of new phone hardware and a lot of people who will use the mobile web that haven’t in the past.  When Motorola’s Droid phone went on sale last month, it sold 250,000 units in the first week.  Most of those buyers were not iPhone deserters.  Ignore the mobile web at your peril.

9.  Bing becomes the number two search engine – Since Microsoft’s purchase of Yahoo! earlier this year, the perennial number two search engine has continued to lose market share to Google and now Bing.  I can’t help but think it’s because of the heavy TV advertising that was done.  Instead of building a stronger brand to challenge Google, Microsoft has simply cannibalized its most recent acquisition.  Expect to see more of that and make the effort to be found on Bing.  New Internet users and those easily persuaded by TV commercials are there.

8.  Businesses are going to make concerted efforts in social media – I’m seeing more and more companies creating business pages on Facebook.  I fanned a page for Grey Goose vodka the other day because they were running ads there.  They’ve got nearly 100,000 fans and a vibrant community on Facebook sharing and discussing drink recipes.  That’s the way to do it.  Pepsi is withdrawing all its Superbowl advertising in favor of a social media campaign with a charitable partner.  That’s 23 years of Superbowl commercials and millions of dollars being shifted online.  Pay attention.  There’s a reason.

7.  Non-commercial applications and uses will drive online commerce – Besides Pepsi’s alignment with the non-profit arena, government’s are using technology more to create engaged citizens.  CNN tells how mobile apps allow users to point out potholes and graffiti in larger cities.

If the inconvenience had happened a few years ago, Newmark said he would have just gone on with his day — maybe complaining about the temperature to a friend.

But this was 2009, the age of mobile technology, so Newmark pulled out his iPhone, snapped a photo of the train car and, using an app called “SeeClickFix,” zapped an on-the-go complaint, complete with GPS coordinates, straight to City Hall.

If government can engage citizens, businesses will have to as well.

6.  Relationships will mean more, social media will be the gateway – Over the past decade, two events have changed our country.  The first was 9/11.  It made us fearful, but also cognizant that anything can happen, any day.  When I first read about those towers coming down on the Internet, I couldn’t believe it.  I had to turn on my TV for proof.  It was that inconceivable.  The attitude that developed post 9/11 was one of staying home, remodeling and not travelling.  Many people made a lot of money staying home and remodeling their homes and the Gulf War brought the country out of recession.  Now we’re in a bigger recession, our homes have lost all their pumped up value and we’re realizing its people, not posessions that are important.  Social media is making it easier and easier to connect with people.

5.  A company will implode due to social media – I have no insider information, just a feeling that some big company out there is going to take on a social media campaign and screw it up so badly it either damages the company for years or takes it down completely.  We’ve seen hints of this in the past with AOL and Best Buy, but this is going to be a very special mistake.  Here’s why it’s going to happen –  most of corporate America doesn’t understand the Internet.  Here’s how – people online act like they’re yelling at their TV’s at home.  Social media is like turning up the volume on that TV, but with it becoming two sided.  It’s if Elvis was shooting the TV and the person on the other side had some danger of being hit.  They do and I believe it will happen in 2010.

Corporate America thinks they can still lie and misrepresent and set up patsies in this age of transparency.  They can’t any more, but it will take a gigantic implosion before the rest of them catch on.  Social media will be that catalyst.

4.  Blogging is going to make a comeback –  Over the past year, blogs have seemed to become passé.  Twitter (microblogging) and Facebook have become the brand names of social media.  Meanwhile the old standbys; forums and blogs keep chugging along.  The reason I think blogs are going to come back stronger is the emergence of Posterous as another platform.  It doesn’t replace existing platforms, even though it can.  It complements them and makes it even easier for bloggers to blog…by simply sending an email.  Posterous showed its getting serious when it recently added multi-author capability, a feature that prevented business adoption of the technology.  I think we’re going to see a new form of blogging I’m dubbing “mini-blogging” that will be longer than Twitter, but shorter than a blog like mine.  Posterous is going to help make that happen.

3. Twitter gives control back to consumers – I think quite possibly the most annoying thing about the Internet is spam.  I get an email from the Chicago Cubs a few times a week in an email I don’t use very often.  I probably got on their list when I created a March madness bracket five years ago, but I can’t seem to be removed.  It’s an indignity I’ve learned to ignore…and delete every time I get an email from them.  On the other hand, if all they had was my Twitter address, I retain control since I can unfollow them any time I want.  This is the direction smart marketers are heading.  If you’re starting a new site, use Twitter to build your list because it will build trust and a loyal following.

2. Advertisers will ask for less, but know more – Along the same vein, smart marketers are asking for less information on contact and landing pages.  When I first read this article suggesting not to ask for a full name, I was a little flabbergasted.  Any email marketer knows personalized emails with the prospect’s name in the subject line have a higher open rate.  Mark was right, you’ll get the rest of their information…when they buy.  Then you can personalize to your heart’s content.  In the meantime people who Twitter would rather give up that information, even though it can supply much more than an email, because they know they can unfollow at any time.  Are you using Twitter and Facebook on your landing pages and contact forms?  You should.

1.  Coupon sites will rule the year – It seems technology and the economy have combined to create an amazing opportunity for consumers through the old standby – coupons.  Who doesn’t like to save money?  In some of the email newsletters I still subscribe to, I’ve seen the word coupon pop up more and more frequently and I believe 2010 will produce an amazing winner in that vertical space.  There’s no doubt demand exists.  “Printable coupons” gets searched over 100,000 times per month according to WordTracker and SmallBusinessNewz wrote,

Of course big-name brands were often accompanying the keywords, but the fact that people are looking for printable coupons should tip you off that it is a good idea to offer them if you run a brick and mortar store. I guarantee that not everyone who is searching for coupons is associating them with a specific brand.

Online coupon businesses are doing very well. has experienced explosive growth this year and just received a 30 million dollar capital injection that could make it the break out coupon site of 2010.  Whether or not it’s Groupon, I do think at the end of next year, coupon sites are going to be very top of mind.

There are my ten fearless predictions for 2010.  Any thoughts…agreements…disagreements?  Let me know by leaving a comment.

How to Get Traffic to Your Blog – A Powerpoint Presentation

November 21, 2009 2 comments
%d bloggers like this: