Content Marketing for Activists RSS monetization and SEO
Content Marketing For Activists: “SocialMedia, RSS Monetization, and SearchEngine Optimization"James Dellinger
Create GoalsBefore you begin:Determine what success on internet means toyou or your org.Set them (and start modest.)Be realistic, the internet is a part of an overalloutreach strategy.
Why Content Marketing?Many content creators, including activistsare not fully equipped for the self-publishing era, where self-promotion is justas important... as the quality and timelinessof the content.
• Two Laws of CMS Purchase(Content Management Systems)Dont ever build from scratch!Never pay a licensing fee. CMSs should consistently and easily be upgradable, by themselves, or with low volume consulting services covering serious internet advances. (Compare them.)
Blog Activism- Why do so many peopleuse WordPress? Is blogging Dying?There are many quality blogging software and CMS systemsfor site creation, some fantastic, other terrible.CMS does not stand still--- new versions are out all the time.Remember if you are not moving forward you are falling behind!A few examples: • For beginners Blogspot.com is a great place to start, but has severe limitations for activism! • For advanced pros who know CMS systems, Drupal is a wonderfully powerful, free system. (Think! Newsbusters.org and large government recovery.gov run on Drupal systems) • WordPress, and a few others are scalable solution for many, individual bloggers or activist groups.
How interconnected is your blog orwebsite into the greater conversation? Great tools to measure your inter-connectivity... And this ishow the web decides whether or not you are relevant to theconversation…http://www.urlfan.com/http://www.technorati.com/Ever get traffic from this domain? Use Top Search...http://blogsearch.google.com/?hl=en&tab=wbJoin the discussion dont fear linking to other talking about yourissues.
Why doesnt WordPress come with ahow to guide? Blog/Site Activism Cheat Sheet:• Well it does, but...• The Codex is huge! • What do your URLs look like• A life time of reading... when they are created by your• Most groups or individuals CMS? have blogs/ or sites set up o For Wordpress: (Default by over-worked contract option "two" is best, not developers, who default "one" or others.) understand code, but • Do you have the latest RPC rarely set up for traffic address loaded in the settings impact and maximization. "ping" box? o (Remote procedure call)
Remember:“The internet is a series oftubes...” Former Sen. Ted Stevens June 28th, 2006 describing the Internet in the context of network neutrality Not quite, much more like pipes.... but that is a later slide.
GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT! Breaking out of the ConservativeInternet Ghetto: Maximize your blog or website RSS Feeds range and grow readership Finding your target readership. Do they actually read your site or blog? If you dont know- then find out!
More Google... Do you use...Google Analytics and WebmasterTools? (Others are fine, just not free...)Why Analytics? Why Webmaster Tools?1. Its free! (And easy...) 1. Also free... but its a bit2. It allows you to figure out more advanced. what content your 2. Allows a webmaster to see audience really enjoys. how the robots (search3. Metrics, Metrics metrics, it engines etc) see your site give you a relatively and properly and promptly accurate assessment of fix flaws. who, where, and when 3. Advanced management of people visit your site. your sitemap.
Other Free and Useful Analytic Tools http://www.quantcast.com/ http://compete.com/ http://www.sitemeter.com/
About those Pipes.... Getting the most from your RSS(Really Simple Syndication) to grow your traffic
Your RSS Feeds could mint new money foryour cause in the recession.Does your site have a feed or feeds? If so....I hope you are using Feedburner.com to promote your feeds and yourcontent. Why?The integrated distribution tools aid even a website to promote itself tonew audiences. Remember, the settings matter..... (you must say yesto search engines and yahoo pipes...But, having a feed or feeds is not enough... you must integrate theminto the wider internet communities. • Have you used a service like Godady.com "Traffic Blazer" • Have you submitted yourself to the internets small towns? • They are the hundreds of smaller 500- 5k member sites or directories and communities that accept new RSS feed content.
Do you... "Ping"?Many blogs and CMS systems have automated pinging, manyolders systems do not. Find out where you stand. Ping it out....For more very technical information and explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XML-RPCDos:Make sure your ping box has all the latest rpc links installed.If your system is older use http:www.pingomatic.com as youupdate content.Donts:Assume your blog or site is just fine already without checking itout- if misaligned you are likely missing 12%-20% of yoursites traffic potential.
Why Google News, Yahoo News, andnews and blog aggregator websitesmatter, allot.• Google News and Yahoo News are the primary "news source," for many internet readers today.• Not having your content here puts you at a huge traffic disadvantage and it allows the lefties to dominate them.• Other content aggregation sites are valuable in growing your web presence. Many are populated via feed content, (to be discussed later) others are run by humans and email is still a useful tool to reach them.• Oh yea… Its Free...
Getting Your Content listed in GoogleNews, Yahoo News, and otherimportant third-party websites• Do you Qualify as a "Publisher?"• Likely, you may and dont know it.• Even if you are an advocacy group your press release may be accepted. Yes, in fact they are… three a month.• Carefully read Publisher requirements found by searching..• In google search- "Google news publisher submit"• In Yahoo! search- "Yahoo news publisher submit"• Follow the directions closely, and respond to the emails sent by the humans in Mountain View and Sunnyvale.
AdSense- Googles network for your site orblog to be advertised on... easily.Dos DontsIf, your primary or secondary Think big money is around thefeeds are through corner...it is really not.feedburner.com... Assume this is a question to beYou can easily put Googles ignored!AdWords in your feeds and earnnew money for your organization. These things start really small.... but can grow and help offset otherMarket your feeds to your web costs!readership once ads are placedin them, because they are Assume AdWords a closedportable, ie good for mobile and system. As you can advertisepeople interested in specific your cause in enemy territorytopics. (keywords and feeds), so too can they!
Do you use AdWords? If yes, is it in a cost effective and targeted, achieving your goals?A few questions to ask yourself before you go any further...Take one point from commercial marketing... attend seminars....For Activists Groups: For Bloggers: • What is your goal? • Will it get you noticed? • What is your budget? • Can you afford it? • Is this a passive presence • Who is advertising on the or a time sensitive keywords you want to campaign? reach? • You are the David get • Is this for specific content creative when hunting or just to get your name giants... out and direct possible • Trust me... I have hunted readers. GoldmanSachs
Get Creative!Rigidity and orthodoxy is not a a positive for this medium.Political conservatism ≠ organization conservatism!Think and act Reagan.....(This does not mean you must compromise principle, but remainflexible in approaching dynamic communities.)Two Examples:Why not build your own Facebook? With ning.com you can! http://social.bureaucrash.com http://www.teamsarah.orgThese sites have effectively captured the spirit of purpose and hadsuccessful principled appeal.
Mastering Social MediaFacebook, Email and Beyond Dos Donts • Create Facebook • Dont create more work "group" and "fan" page than you can handle for the public • Assume... "We have a • Feed your content into blog, we do enough..." your own Facebook • Dont just hand it over page to an intern • Become a full • Dont expect huge participant in any traffic returns, in the community you wish to short run submit content to. • Don’t be too rigid, this • Assume ‘twitter’ is so is a social space. special or different.
Email is still King Especially if your audience is andtarget market skews older Dos Donts • Compare and shop • Send too many emails around for email • Assume... "We have a vendors. The offers blog, we do enough..." change all the time. • Dont just hand it over • ConstantContact.com to an intern is not the only vendor • Just say no to spam… (and not my favorite) • Unless they are on • Think about your Capitol Hill or a state needs and how it is House or Senate priced • Use it…
Other things to Consider when jumping intothe social media pool....Add Value, dont waste time. Exploiting natural tendencies.Twitter is not the only answer Dont forget that like mindedcreating a rounded social media people are out there.... the bigpresence, but is important. threeTwitterfeeding is a useful tool tointegrate 2.0 RSS blog or website Reddit.com-content into your twitter account, Paulite Libertarians have awithout addition effort. sizable presence on...(twitterfeed.com orfeedburner.com social) FreeRepublic.com- conservative users are very well integrated inIs a totalfark.com right for you? the internet to share content.If you produce a large volume ofcontent and you want access to Technorati.com- get listed...its "heavy users" then yes it is. get ranked....
Some Examples: http://twitter.com/dcexaminerhttp://technorati.com/people/technorati/DCExaminer http://www.reddit.com/user/dcexaminer http://www.facebook.com/washingtonexaminer http://washingtonexaminer.tumblr.com/
When fishing for traffic.... Bring some bait....Dont be afraid to bait your ideological foes...Ying needs a yang, bait is as useful to create, presence as red meat.Dont be afraid to troll, but be careful.... dont get caught doingsomething stupid. (Bad: Hill staffers on wikipedia editing their memberspage. Good: Conservative control of Dan Rathers page duringRathergate.)You could control your foes third party site, depending on the effort youput forward and team you build.Anonymous editing is frowned upon in 99% of wiki sites but they can beboth useful to co-opt or create for your cause.If you must be anonymous.... a few pointers. • An excellent site.... http://anonymouse.org/anonwww.html • Setup troll and shell email accounts and usernames locking your IP address to a public WiFI source, like Starbucks, or AbP.
Do search engines know you exist? Maybe yes... but likely not as well as your think.• Google is not just a search engine, but... o Must think of all ways people could find out more about your campaign or activity. But remember, Google and Yahoo are the two most visited domains on the entire internet, be there.• PageRank and Keyword Association Management o What does Google think of your site? Are other groups framing you or your issues, on your keywords? Think SourceWatch, and Media Transparency• Understand how SEO effects how the public see you and your content.
A quick SEO Shortcut GuideDos Donts1. Most important things 1. Assuming your site is a about the content item in known quantity.... the url. 2. Can control search2. Remember most people returns... will find your content via 3. Forget to submit yourself topic search, not looking to smaller search engines, for you! many free mass submit3. Dates are very helpful, sites exist. especially if you want to be 4. Think it can be changed included as a "publisher." over-night. (it is required)4. Domain redirects... How many do you have?
URLs- Rights and Wrongs...A few Examples:The right way: (My former employer)http://www.capitalresearch.org/blog/2009/03/02/citigroups-capitulation/Notice the dates.... and important words in the URL...The wrong way: Ted Leonsis giving my current employer alink.http://www.tedstake.com/?p=3558Notice NO dates.... and NO word for content association....
PageRank and Keyword Association ManagementGood advise, "Its very hard to push negative items down, its mucheasier to push positive items up." You must manage this if you want toprotect you or your organizations online reputation. Your contentprimarily appears based on "topic searches."How?Creating "username" accounts on high ranking third-party websites withsimilar search words to yours.Example: dcexaminer.com - Web address for Washington ExaminerI created a twitter account named dcexaminer and it always shows upon the first search returns page.I created a reddit.com account user named dcexaminer and it alwaysshows up on the second search returns page.
Some Additional homework:The Advanced Reading:"Google Hacking" Johnny Long"Unleashing Web 2.0" Gottfried Vossen and Stephan Hagemann"Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything"Don Tapscott"Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing YourWorld" Don TapscottThe Wordpress Codex (is great inspirational material)Yahoo! Pipeshttp://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/ (Can have fun with this....)
Dont Forget to have fun... Rome was not built in a day, and many other like you are out in there building their presence...
James Dellingerdellinger.firstname.lastname@example.org dont be a stranger...