Brand Yourself When You Comment on Blogs

Do you have a photo that you use for commenting on blogs? It is tied to the email that you use when you submit the comment. To select a gravitar for your email for commenting to blogs, you can use the Gravatar website en.gravatar.com to link a particular photo to an email address. It comes from the makers of WordPress.

What are the Best Brands in the World?

Who are the Best Brands in the World?

In my opinion, you have to define the word BEST — I think it can be subjective. Most recognized? The best tv brands? Widest appeal? Most valuable if you were to sell the brand? Greatest Goodwill? Most respected?

CNBC released these Best Brands in the World in March 2011 Top 3: Google, Microsoft, Wal-Mart.

Interbrand issued a report on the best Retail Brands for 2011. Top 3: Wal-Mart, Target, The Home Depot.

We have all seen similar reports. But what does that mean to us, the marketing and branding managers who are trying to build brand awareness and market our company, its products and services to our target market?

Let’s take a look…

Besides being huge consumer brands, what actually makes these brands great? I think that they all have:

  • Consistency – They are not changing things constantly, but layering.
  • Strong positioning – You KNOW what they stand for.
  • Frequency of communication – the brand uses traditional and nontraditional marketing, advertising, PR and promotion
  • Clarity of focus – They know their target market and keep that in the forefront.
  • Exclusivity – the brand does NOT try to be all things to everyone.

When you are building your brand, what lessons can you learn from the “biggest and the best” brands?

  1. Do you have a style guide? If so do you share it with everyone on your team?
  2. Do you have a consistent communication message to your focused target market? If so, write it down, right now, in an email to yourself. Oh yeah, and attach the style guide in that email.
  3. Is your brand exclusive? Who do you exclude? And who are included? Add that to your email and hit send.

You don’t need to send me your email, but if you’re able to do this, just pop a comment below and let me know.

PodCampCleveland Set for April 30 2011 Learn, Share, Practice

I'm speaking at podcamp cleveland 2011 badge

If you’ve never been to a PodCamp before you may be surprised by all the great information, helpful people and new ideas. It’s an unconference, meaning: free and where everyone is a ROCKSTAR.

If you’ve ever wanted to start an internet radio show, put up a blog or learn how to Twitter/Tweet, you’ll learn a ton at PodCamp!

If you’re anywhere near the Cleveland, Akron, Canton area on April 30th, consider attending PodCampCleveland from 8:30 to 5 at CVCC – Cuyahoga Valley Career Center at 8001 Brecksville Road on Route 21 in Brecksville, Ohio.

I’ll be one of the many presenters at the second annual Cleveland Pod Camp, presenting about “25 Ways to Brand and Market Your Business with a WordPress Blog.”

More information and registration at http://www.podcampcleveland.com.

How Do You Increase Readership to Your Blog?

How do you increase readership?
Are you using a blog to improve the online visability on the internet? If so, you’re probably trying to figure out how to get more readers. Am I right?

Here are a few ways that I’ve noticed really boost the numbers of people who either read an individual article or actually subscribe either via email or by using a feed reader to view the RSS feed.

Write about a popular topic of interest to your target reader – I guess this should go without saying, because it is so obvious. For example if you run an antiques blog, you could choose a particular topic such as the Victorians and focus on that for a post. Good content will attract readers.

Quote other experts in your field and link back to them. – Some of my favorite people to quote in marketing blogs are Drew McLellan and Jean Gianfagna, to name just a couple. I know my readers would be interested in what they say and vice versa.

Be a guest author on a blog that has similar content to your own. Sometimes it makes sense to have a guest author. I usually like to interview the people that I think my readers want to hear from — rather than give full reins to someone else, because I have to interject my opinion, (can’t help myself!!) but this library of guides should be able to help you figure out how to do this and many other things.

Syndicate your blog. This would mean add your blog’s feed to the other sites that compile content. For instance, Alltop is a site that compiles blogs into categories, making it easy for the reader who wants to find new blogs to read about a certain topic. Or for instance my blog has a feed into some other online blogs after I have submitted it. It can be as easy as submitting the feedburner link of your blog RSS to a magazine type blog or directory that syndicates the content and then just put something like like this in a blog article: “I confirm the subscription of this blog to the Paperblog service under the username chrisbrown” and then the compiler won’t get in trouble for scraping content without permission. ????

Submit your blog to blog directories. My Blog Log. Technorati. Fuel my blog. Blogs on Blogged.

Being able to get found is the trick.

What other suggestions should I have made? I’m sure you have an idea. Please leave it in the comments below. Thanks!

How Do You Stay Current with Your Marketing Techniques?

Yesterday I spoke to an Entrepreneur class at Kent State University about how I started my own business. It was a big class with 98 students. It is encouraging to me that more and more students are interested in entrepreneurship and that KSU is now offering both a minor and a major in the subject.

After answering a question about online marketing, one of the students asked me, “How did you learn all this?”

I had to stop and smile.

Constant learning is something that many students haven’t grasped yet. Just getting a degree is only one step in the journey.

My answer:

“I hang out with people who are constantly learning and trying new things. I try to attend bloggers conferences, podcamps and meet monthly with the Akron Bloggers Community where we discuss everything from mobile tags to the best interfaces for your merchant account to download information products. ”

I’d thought I’d take a minute to share some great information tools from some of those conferences:

FitBloggin’10 — May in Baltimore, great sponsors, great speakers. This link goes to the videos from each of the sessions. I’m going again this year. Great conference. Settle in for 5 hours of how to videos:

  • How to Pitch to the Traditional Media
  • Making Money From Your Blog
  • Using Social Media to Reach Goals: The Power of an Online Community
  • Beyond the Blog- Getting Published
  • WordPress from .com to Self Hosted

PodCampCleveland: Last year was the first year, 2011 session is April 30th at the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center from 8 am -5 pm. Should be awesome. Here’s the link to my presentation called Out of the Blog Fog: Intro to Blogging. It’s got my audio and slides so almost as good as a video.

PodCamp Pittsburgh: P’burg was one of the first cities with Podcamp and celebrated it’s 5th session this year. Here’s the link to my Pittsburgh PodCamp post about it earlier this year.

PodCamps are not just about podcasting, but social media, blogging, how to use Google AdWords, Google Places, and just about any online marketing you can think of, and if you can’t think of many other strategies for online marketing, you might also be wanting to look into other helpful resources like this page that looks into what is online marketing and goes in-depth at how to better compete against other companies or websites while marketing online. So, perhaps you’re interested in owning and operating a radio show? Come to podcamp. Just Google it. I bet there’s a PodCamp in a city near you. And if not, come to Cleveland’s PodCamp on April 30th! You’ll be glad you did.

How do YOU stay current? Please share links. Use your real name and email so I know I can approve any comments that get blocked. Thanks!