Creating Killer Videos with Amy Schmittauer

Creating Killer Videos with Amy Schmittauer

Creating Killer Videos with Amy Schmittauer

Creating great videos may not be easy, but Amy Schmittauer makes it look easy. President of Vlog Boss Studios, an agency specializing in video content marketing, Amy has also created a following on YouTube where she talks about social media, marketing and more.

What advice would you to give to someone starting video, and getting over the fear of being on camera?

It’s so much easier to talk to people directly right? Stop thinking about the lens, and start thinking about your audience. Picture one person that you would be sharing this information with, and speak to them. It’s a completely different feeling when you have the mindset that you’re helping someone with your content versus just being another recording on the Internet.

Your videos on Savvy Sexy Social are very entertaining. How do you keep people’s attention in an age when attention spans are spread so thin?

I inject a lot of personality in my videos. That’s the best way to start. If you think you can grow in this medium by being just another talking head, you have another thing coming. So people know exactly what I’m like in the real world because I’m not putting up a rouse for my videos. I also pay a lot of attention to my analytics, and my audience retention. Anything I can do to keep my video flowing quickly with non-stop information, and entertainment so they are only watching as long as they need to, increases my ability to build a relationship with them. You’ll rarely hear a pause or an “umm” because I do a lot of cutting, so we’re constantly going from point to point. There is no downtime in my videos. [Read more…]

4 Free Email Subscription Tools to Keep Readers in the Loop

FeedBurner

Email Subscription Tools

Despite what some people say, email is far from dead. Although social media has become an incredibly popular way for us to communicate, use of email is still growing. According to The Radicati Group, a technology market research firm, as of April 2013 there are 3.9 billion active email accounts, with 182.9 billion emails sent and received each day. Email subscription tools help keep us updated with our favorite companies or blogs, and chances are your readers would like the option to subscribe via email.

Recently, avid reader Andrew Kayode got in touch with us, and had this to say:

Why is it that you don’t have a subscriber’s list via e-mail? Please I need to be included if you have one.

While our RSS feed is linked at the bottom of every post, the ability to subscribe via email is not. However, thanks to FeedBurner, one of the first email subscription tools we will be getting into, the ability to subscribe via email has been here all along. Oops.

Click here to get the latest posts delivered straight to your inbox! (opens in new tab)

FeedBurner

This free RSS tool has been around since 2004, and was acquired by Google in 2007. While rumors of shutting down have circulated quite a bit in the past few years, it’s still ticking. FeedBurner is still used by thousands of popular blogs, and when you add your blog, it also gives you the ability to let readers subscribe via email. Under “Publicize,” “Email Subscriptions,” and then “Email Branding,” you can easily customize how new email will appear. [Read more…]

Branding Like a Boss with John Morgan

Branding

Branding

Called the Chuck Norris of branding, John Morgan has worked with Fortune 500 companies, celebrities, and entrepreneurs. Also an author, John’s book Brand Against The Machine currently has 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

A lot of people see a brand as a logo or design, but it’s actually more than that. What is, and what makes up a brand?

A brand is certainly not a logo or color scheme or marketing campaign. It is people’s perception of you. It represents the level of trust people have with your company. What makes up a brand is quite simply, everything. Everything you do is branding. Your attitude, clothes, service, systems, and so on, all make up your brand. That’s why so many businesses fail to build a lasting brand. They believe that their brand is based on the product, or the logo. They forget the little things. Every great brand is made of tiny little things they do well.

I’m sure there are some people reading this who never seriously considered what their brand exactly was. How do you come up with a brand? Where do you even begin?

Everyone already has a brand because everyone you’ve met has a perception of you. You might not have considered how you’re positioned in the marketplace, but it’s not too late. I recommend beginning by focusing on what you do that your competition doesn’t. It’s an instant way to stand out. In addition to that, give your brand room to breathe and grow over time. Apple was once defined as a computer company, yet today their brand is perceived differently than that. [Read more…]

How to Stay Motivated While Getting Your Blog Off the Ground

Stay Motivated

Stay Motivated

Kicking off a new blog can be exciting, and that alone can help you stay motivated. You have these ideas, you get to work creating the site, designing it and creating content. However, that excitement can get the best of us, and things come crashing down when you are not seeing the results you had hoped for. We all have certain expectations, and we all want to see massive success from whatever project we are working on. In the blogging world though, success is far from an overnight process. In fact, it’s more of a work-till-your-hands-bleed kind of process, requiring hundreds, even thousands of hours.

Several times I can easily recall just wanting to give up. I had put together what I felt to be a great blog, and written many what I felt to be great posts. Unfortunately, traffic was far from great, and it seemed like I had created yet another blog to get pushed aside from all the noise coming at every which direction. If you are trying to get a blog off the ground, or have but are struggling to stay motivated, here are several tips:

Have A Plan

The majority of problems stem from improper planning, or lack thereof. If you don’t know where you are going, how can you expect to get there? (Tweet This) Naturally, I’m a big procrastinator, and when it comes to putting a plan together, I want to gravitate towards flying by the seat of my pants. “Things will work themselves out” or “You can work on that tomorrow” are common thoughts that pop in my head. However, the lack of a plan is one of the quickest paths to failure. [Read more…]

Six Reasons to Upgrade Your Commenting System

Commenting System

Commenting System

Your average commenting system has evolved quite a bit over the years, but sadly many blogs are still stuck in the dark ages. While blog comments aren’t a measure of success, that doesn’t mean you should not encourage them. Platforms like WordPress come with commenting ready to rock, and you are probably very familiar with the setup. Someone enters their name, email, website address and then says whatever they want to say. Depending on your theme, the comment form can be designed differently, but the functionality still remains the same.

Using the built-in commenting system is totally fine, and tends to get the job done. However, I feel you can do better with a more advanced setup like Livefyre or Disqus, and here’s why:

Good Lookin’

This can be chopped up to a matter of personal opinion, but the reality is that many basic comment forms are not lookers. Functionality is of utmost importance, but design should also be considered. To be honest, I am not a fan of the commenting system currently in place here on Blog Herald, but hey, that’s not my call. Setups from Livefyre or Disqus are very clean and simple, and they automatically adjust to the fonts or colors of your blog. [Read more…]

Why Twitter is Awesome Like Bacon with Chris Reimer

Chris Reimer

Twitter

Chris Reimer is a longtime Twitter evangelist, and when not posting far more than 140 characters, he’s got his game face on as VP of Social Media at Falk Harrison.

Why is Twitter a great platform, and how is it different from other social networks?

Twitter is brilliant. It allows for direct, one-on-one engagement and outreach to anyone on Earth (who uses Twitter). Humans love to communicate, and want to be heard. There are countless case studies of people using Twitter to move mountains – to launch products, to gain exposure via someone famous, to sell products, to reconnect with old friends, to build something out of nothing with no ad budget whatsoever!

This is a dumb example, but I was watching Piers Morgan interview Kyra Sedgwick. I can’t remember what they talked about, but it was a great discussion. I was able to tweet “Hey @kyrasedgwick, I really enjoyed your interview on @piersmorgan.” In this case neither responded, and yet I still was very pleased to be able to say this to them. I don’t know why – it’s just how we as humans roll. I hope to be a guest on Piers’ show some day (seriously, why not). Could it help even a little bit that I tweeted him about his Kyra Sedgwick interview? I don’t know, and herein lies the problem for people. [Read more…]

Are Comments a Measure of a Blog’s Success?

Comments

CommentsIn December 1997, Jorn Barger of Robot Wisdom coined the term “weblog.” It combined the word “web” and “log,” and at the time such “weblogs” were incredibly basic. There were no push button services at the time, and not just anyone could start plugging away. Eventually, “weblog” got shortened to “blog” sometime around the year 2000, and we have seen massive changes ever since. WordPress, Blogger, Typepad and others have made it super easy for anyone to start creating content, helping to make their voice heard.

As blogs started to evolve, so did the level of interaction around them. The rise of search engines made content easy to discover for the first time ever, and commenting systems made it so that posts were no longer one-sided. Now, thanks to the age of social media, search engines are no longer the main source of discovery. Despite getting my start at blogging around 2008 when Facebook and Twitter were really beginning to gain traction, I always valued comments. [Read more…]

How Competition Actually Benefits Your Blog

Competition

Competition

When it comes to competition, we often look at people or businesses in our respective niches as enemies, and those we must beat. No matter what you blog about, chances are there is more than a small handful of people writing about the same thing. And if you sell ebooks, courses, consulting, etc., you can be sure others are as well. Naturally, we are designed to compete because before the days of modern science and technology, if we lost, we died.

Quite frankly, looking at your competition as enemies or “the bad guys,” is an absolutely backwards line of thinking. It is perfectly normal to think that way, but you are doing yourself and your blog a total disservice by not using competition to your benefit.

Gain Valuable Insight

No matter how smart or “on top of things” you think you are, there are people out there who will prove you wrong. Sometimes, there might be areas that you have overlooked, or ways of interacting with your audience for example that you never thought about before. Also, there could be valuable tools you never heard of, and maybe even ways of crafting your content to keep readers more engaged. [Read more…]

How to Pick Out the Perfect WordPress Theme

WordPress Theme

WordPress Theme

Finding the right WordPress theme is like shopping for a car. There are tons of choices, and you can end up going back and forth before settling on the right one. Fortunately though, unlike taking out a loan for a new car, you can grab a new theme for as low as the price of free! However, just because WordPress is so customizable, and there are thousands of simple to install themes right at your fingerprints, does not make the process any easier.

Your website design is a very serious investment, and your first impression to grabbing a visitor’s attention, and directing them to where you want them to go. Also, you have to factor in speed, functionality, and something that is optimized for SEO, not contributing to any problems down the road. To pick out the perfect WordPress theme, follow these five tips:

Stick With Reliable Sources

There are hundreds of marketplaces offering up themes for the taking, but do you truly know what you are getting? Some themes can be full of messy code, while others can potentially contain malware, hurting your visitors, and your reputation. Personally, I’ve had good success with Elegant Themes, WooThemes, and Theme Forest. All their themes are paid, but you tend to know that you are getting a high quality product, which is worth the rather small price to pay. [Read more…]

Three Quick Questions Before Starting Your Next Blogging Adventure

Blogging

Blogging

The blogging realm is constantly buzzing along, and according to Technorati, two new blogs are creating every second. The craziest part is that statistic was published in 2006, a time when blogs were in their infancy, and very few were creating successful businesses from them. I’m not sure about you, but when I had my first idea for a blog, or any ideas for that matter, I get really excited. I start thinking of possibilities, how to structure the site, and so on.

Also, my aspirations can get the best of me, and I feel that it’s going to be a huge success right out of the gate. However, success is not something that just happens, but takes time to manifest based on a bunch of different factors. Before kicking off your next blogging adventure, don’t go too crazy, and jump off the deep end. First, ask yourself these three questions:

Do I want to make money, or do I just want to build something for fun?

Depending on your goals, you may want to monetize, or just start up a new pet project. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with monetizing a blog, but if your main aspiration is to make money, you’re going to have a bad time. Making money blogging has no eight step program, and there sure as heck is no such thing as a “set and forget” system. [Read more…]