Amazon + Twitter = AmazonCart

amazoncart

Did you know that many authors love Twitter and many have a pretty large following on Twitter? Well Amazon has recently introduced a new feature called #AmazonCart which hopes to help authors (as well as other Amazon vendors) profit a bit more easily from their relationships on Twitter.

The point of AmazonCart is to help authors grow sales when they tweet about their books on Twitter.  Customers can add products they see on Twitter to their Amazon.com Shopping Carts without leaving Twitter.

Now, when you send a tweet that includes an Amazon.com product link (such as to your latest book), Twitter users who have connected their accounts to Amazon will be able to add the product directly to their Amazon.com Shopping Carts simply by replying to the tweet and adding “#AmazonCart.”

They will then receive a reply tweet and an email confirming the Cart add, and they can complete checkout on Amazon.com at their convenience.

Hopefully you may begin to see replies containing “#AmazonCart” to your tweets with Amazon.com product links. These replies can also give us a good idea of which followers are engaging with our tweets.

While all social media should be used first and foremost to build relationships with potential readers, it’s nice to see a feature like this which requires less work on the reader’s part to purchase our books on Amazon. Only time will tell if it “catches on” with readers.

What do you think about the new AmazonCart feature? Brilliant or a bust?

For more information about the feature, visit www.amazon.com/AmazonCart.

Troubleshooting Your Google Authorship

troubleshooting-google-authorship

I try to set aside a working day every month or so to do something I (not so fondly) describe as “clean up day”. This usually means digging in the archives of my hard drive and tossing out applications or files that I don’t need and other things of that nature. One thing that was on my “to do” list for ages was troubleshooting why my Google Authorship was working on some pages and not others.

I played around with this a little a few months back, but gave up after a time because I felt like I had better things to do. But I’m going to be honest here, getting Google Authorship right is important especially for a writer. When I see the picture of an author by an article that I have searched for on the web, it immediately gives me the impression that this writer is credible, that I kind of know the person or at least can connect with them on a human level, and entices to me to click rather than on the search results without Google authorship. Why wouldn’t I want that same advantage for my own work?

There are a lot of tutorials on the web (I published one back in 2011) that tried to simplify what Google did a very poor job of explaining to us lay people…how to get the darn thing to work. Since then there have been WordPress templates (Genesis), WordPress plugins, and more tutorials which have popped up all over the place trying to make it a bit easier to accomplish.

I used a lot of these solutions when first troubleshooting my Google Authorship, but every time I went to test my site in the Google Structured Data Testing Tool a.k.a. rich snippets testing tool (you’ll find this in your Google webmaster tools area), there was always something not working. Some pages would work, but not all. You may not even know that your authorship isn’t totally working if you don’t test several different pages in the testing tool, so here’s my advice:

1. Identify the websites, pages, and posts you’d like associated with your Google profile.

In most cases, the obvious answer is all of them, but remember this includes all your guest posts too. There are a lot of major sites out there who have set up Google authorship for themselves but not for their guest posters, so it’s critical that you identify yourself as a contributor to sites like this and link those articles to your Google+ profile.

2. Test a few of your most important pages in the Structured Data Testing Tool.

I made sure to test my main site’s url, my high traffic pages, my popular guest posts, reviews, etc.

google authorship testing

 

3. Establish More Direct Connections

Most tutorials instructed us to link from our Google+ profile to an ABOUT or BIO page on our site. This has varying results, so one thing you can do is to make more direct connections from your articles/posts to your profile. Now if you have hundreds of posts this might not be the right solution, BUT if you identify the posts that are high ranking in search results you might narrow that number down quite a bit and then can manually add your link to the end of your posts. Perhaps you could add a copyright notice.

Example: © <a href=”[Google+ Profile Url]?rel=author”>Lisa Angelettie</a>

4. Layer Your Solutions

Honestly, I don’t know what ONE solution ended up being the ticket for me. I have layers of solutions:

WordPress Plugins

2013-09-04_1830 2013-09-04_1831

 

Thesis Theme Skins

I use Thesis as the template for my site, but I use a “SKIN” on top of it to make it look the way it does. An email optin box at the top and bottom of my site AND the option of adding an author box to the end of every post. This author box is where you can add your Google+ link.

Manual Linking

I have added the direct links to my profile manually on certain pages on my site and to certain guest posts.

That’s how important it is to me to achieve Google Authorship and finally it works!!! I hope this was helpful to you in some way. If you have any questions or tips please add them in the comment section below. Now go out there and claim your content!

 

 

 

How To Use Social Media To Generate Blog Ideas

Using Social Media to Generate Blog Ideas

There are thousands upon thousands of blog owners online. As such, it can often be quite difficult for any one blog owner to stand out from their competitors. But if you want to get your head above the rest, you should begin by looking at your content.

The Importance of Unique Content

Fresh content will set you apart from your competition in two important ways. Firstly, it will interest and entertain your readers. Secondly, it will help to identify you as a thought leader in a particular field. Both of these things will drive traffic to your blog and ensure that your audience comes back for more.

Generating content ideas, however, can be tricky. This goes double if you are trying to generate unique ideas. So it’s important to utilise the resources you have on hand to help you come up with great topics for your blog. And of all the available online resources, social media is perhaps the best. So here are some ideas for how to generate content by using the two biggest social networks around.

Generating Content from Facebook

blog ideas from facebook

Facebook can be a great place to start collecting unique ideas for your blog. Millions of conversations happen every day on Facebook, and any number of these could contain interesting ideas that you could expand upon.

The key here is expansion. It’s no use to write a blog post that is simply about what people are saying on Facebook. The trick is to uncover why they are saying it, to whom, and why it is important. If the subject concerns a brand or current news story, even better. Tools such as Bottlenose can help us to widen our Facebook search, to determine the most popular conversations at any one time. And if you’re feeling stuck, you could even ask your Facebook friends to suggest ideas of their own.

Twitter Trends and Brands

get blog ideas using twitter

Twitter trends can be of enormous value for bloggers, especially if the trend at hand is controversial. Bloggers who can spot trends before they happen are the best placed to capitalise upon them, by blogging about them in real time as the trend takes hold, then tweeting links back to the blog post which also include the trend key phrase or hashtag.

Twitter, like Facebook, is also a great place where a blogger can interact with brands. Upcoming products, giveaways or brand news can all be utilised by social media-savvy bloggers to generate content that will be of interest, not only to their own following, but to the brand’s following as well.

Consistency vs. Quality

Whilst it’s important to have consistent blog content, it’s also important that your blog posts be consistent. Unless you blog regularly, visitors won’t know when to check your site for new content. Ultimately, this will cause a decrease in your readership and less flow to your website, if you are also a web owner.

Posting consistent content which is also high in quality is a daunting challenge for even the most experienced of blog owners. It can often feel like a full time job simply to stay on top of your content production. But there are resources which make this task much easier. Using a content calendar, for example, will help you to plan content well in advance of its publish date, and will also provide a space in which you can collect and organize creative ideas as they come to you.

Guest Post

How To Change The Name And URL Address Of Your Facebook Page

I created my first Facebook Page several years ago when I didn’t really know what the heck I was suppose to do with it. Back then my brand was a bit narrower (article marketing), so like the SEO keyword freak I am, I gave my page the url address of www.Facebook.com/Article.Marketing.Income. This url served me well because my page came up pretty high in search engine rankings when someone searched for “article marketing income”. But that was then, and this is now. My brand has evolved and grown and article marketing is only part of what I know and teach. So I was ready to change it and if you are too, here’s what you need to know…

Your Facebook Name & Username (URL Address) Are Two Separate Things

I named my Facebook page with my first and last name because that is what I use to brand my business, but I wanted to use keywords in my url for search engine purposes. There was no need to use the same words in the title of my name and in the url. So in order to bring my Facebook page up to date, the only thing I needed to change was my url–but I’m going to show you how to change both.

facebook-page-name

Your Facebook Page Username

Your Facebook username is the url address that people will use to visit your page. It’s important because it contains some SEO benefits but more importantly you will use it everywhere. Business cards, website, other social media sites, newsletter integration, your books, etc. It really is a part of your brand. That’s why I thought it was important that I change mine to reflect that. I’ve since changed my FB page url to: http://Facebook.com/Lisa.Angelettie.Biz (Make sure to LIKE my page if you haven’t already.) *Note that you can only change your username once.

Your Facebook Page Name

When you create a Facebook page, you can name it right away, BUT if you are changing your current Facebook Page’s name then you must have UNDER 200 likes to do so. Take note that you can only CHANGE your Facebook page’s name only once just like the username. So make it count.

Directions For Changing Your Username

To add a username to your Page:

  1. From the top of your Page, click Edit Page 
  2. Select Update Info
  3. Click Create a username for this page? in the Username section
  4. Enter a new username and click Check Availability
  5. If the username you want is available, click Confirm to save it

(Change your name for the page in same area, right under the username section.)

How To Raise Your Klout Score In 5 Steps

Do You Know Your Klout Score? Learn How To Raise Your Klout Score Because It Matters…

raise klout score image

I’m the first to admit that I didn’t pay much attention to Klout when they first came on the scene. First of all, it took me a minute to even hear about them because I am very specific when it comes to my social media engagement. I don’t spend ridiculous amounts of time talking about every single thing my kids do (much to my family’s dismay:). Then when I got the word on them, I did my due diligence and conducted a little bit of research. Many of the experts said that in the grand scheme of things, Klout didn’t matter much. They were wrong.

Search engines such as heavy hitters Google and Bing now take in account a website’s social influence when deciding on authority and ranking, and Klout has now positioned themselves as  the measure of influence for all social media. In fact, in September Bing and Klout became strategic partners and so far Bing has included over 45,000 experts into their search results and the number is estimated to grow. Next may be you!

raise klout score

Source: WebProNews

Klout Basics: How Do They Come Up With Our Klout Score?

According to the folks at Klout, they measure our social influence using three specific metrics and how many followers you have is the least important metric, while engagement is the highest metric. Here they are:

True Reach – the size of your engaged audience
Amplification Probability – the likelihood your content provokes an action
Network Influence – the influence level of your engaged audience

The average Klout score is around 40 and if you have a score of 60 and above you’re doing really well.  Celebrities like Justin Beiber have scores in the 90s! I decided to do a little more research around this topic, so that I could raise my own Klout score which at the time of the writing is at 58 and so that you can raise yours as well. Let’s work together – okay? Here’s what we’re going to do:

Step 1 – Connect All Accounts

Our score is calculated based on social reach so it’s important that we include all of our social networks, not just Facebook and Twitter. Klout currently supports: FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInFoursquareYouTubeInstagramTumblrBloggerWordPressLast.fm, and Flickr. (I see a few that I haven’t connected to my account yet.)

Step 2 – Update Regularly

Klout scores are heavily influenced by ReTweets (RTs), @replies, Facebook Likes, Google Pluses, and viral content shares. The best way to assure that people share your content is to write fresh, high quality content and give people ample opportunities to share it. This means that when I publish an article, I need to share that link to the article on my social profiles more than once so that I’m reaching all the people in my network. People use social media at different times. You’ll have to test this out in your network to find your social sharing “sweet spots”. (This is an area that I can continue to work on.)

Step 3 – Create An Influencer Group

Organize a group of your friends, fellow bloggers, or accountability buddies and agree to share, like, and retweet each other’s content on various social media sites. This group doesn’t have to be big at all, it just has to be comprised of folks who are going to participate and support you and vice-versa. I do this online with a few of my online pals in a private Facebook group. (I could probably add another person to the group but I want to be sure not to make it too big and/or overwhelming for the group members.)

Step 4 – Participate In Chats

Interesting fact: Klout gives value to RTs, @replies and Google Plus votes, at a higher rate than most other voting signals. A great way to influence these metrics are to participate in live Twitter chats, Google+ Hangouts, or engage in popular multi-reply discussions on Facebook. (This is something I totally don’t do, but will definitely put on my marketing agenda.)

Step 5 – Give People Permission To Engage

This is so simple that you may not have thought about doing it, but I saw a marketer do this somewhere in her marketing funnel (I can’t remember where), and I said “Damn that was simple!” So I started doing it. In my newsletters, I don’t just add the social media icons in the template, but I ask subscribers to comment or like something specifically. After subscribers sign up and get their free ebook publishing guide from me, I ask them to Tweet about or share it on Facebook – and guess what? They do. Give people permission to engage with you and to share your content — and they will. (As I write this, I am thinking of other areas where I need to be more diligent about this. I think this is one of the simplest areas where we as entrepreneurs can increase our Klout scores for sure.)

Last bit: If you’ve found that this article has value, I’d appreciate you sharing it with your networks and use one of the buttons below to Like, Tweet, and give it a Google+ vote. I seriously appreciate it. Thanks and I’ll see you over there:)

 

Do You Have A Social Media Business Card?

My Social Media Business Card

I thought this was a really cool tool for sharing the many social media profiles you probably have with your tribe. Plus, another added benefit is that you will create a backlink to your website when you create your profile on this site. After creating my business card and sharing it via Twitter, I received over 70 profile views within an hour. Not bad for five minutes work!

Visit twtbizcard.com, complete your profile, then share your social media business card link with the world. Here’s mine: http://twtbizcard.com/LisaAngelettie. The ad supported version is free (that’s what I use) and you can also upgrade to eliminate ads.

social media business card

How To Add A Facebook Pop Up Like Box On Your Blog

Reader Question:

What are you using to power the Facebook popup like box that pops up when I visit your site? I love that and so far none of the services I have tried to achieve that have worked. Thanks!

Answer:

After a template change, I prominently feature ways for people to join my list on my website, so I thought that a pop up doing the same thing might be a little overkill. But pop ups work, and if done correctly won’t affect your site’s bounce rate. That’s why I decided to use it to help increase my “fans” on Facebook. Here are the two solutions I have tried to achieve this:

1. Facebook Page Promoter

This is a plugin that will allow you go add a Facebook Fan Page Like Box within a lightbox (an overlay). The box is preconfigured, so there are no edits that you can make to add any personal stuff to the box like I have done with mine, but it’s simple to implement and gets the job done. Download the plugin here.

2. WordPress Pop Up (what I use)

In order to make my Facebook pop up a little jazzier and user friendly, I wanted to add a photo of myself with a sentence or two explaining who I am, what I do, and a trust builder (my award badge). When I added these details (my mini bio), it improved my Facebook like conversions.

In order to do this for yourself, you need to use a pop-up that will allow editing, so I use the simple WordPress Pop Up by wpmudev (they make a lot of plugins so search for ‘WordPress Pop Up’ when you visit their site)  in combination with the fan page widget that you can create over on Facebook.

I created the mini bio with photo in a simple word processing application and then saved it as an image using a free screen capture software that I use practically everyday in my business – Jing. You can use whatever screen capturing software you have, or you can use Photoshop, etc.

I uploaded my image to my blog. Then I inserted the html code pointing to the image into the WordPress Pop Up.

Then I created the Facebook Fan Page Like Box over on FB and copy and pasted the code under my image code.

Save, tweak the pop up to your desired settings (how often the same person should see this pop up), and then take a look. After your image is created, it should take you literally 10 minutes to get this up and going.

Have you added your Facebook pop up to your blog? Let us know in the comment section below so we can visit your page and “like it”.

facebook fan popup image

Content Quickie: How To Shorten Your Facebook URL

shorten your facebook urlShortening Your Facebook URL

There may come a time in your business where you need to add your Facebook url somewhere that space is limited, for example on one of your business cards. Space on a business card is prime real estate. Did you know that you can shorten your url and Facebook will forward it automatically?

For example, you can visit my personal Facebook page at http://Facebook.com/LisaAngelettie

 

Or you can visit my personal page at http://FB.com/LisaAngelettie

Either url will send you to my personal page on Facebook (feel free to subscribe to my updates while you are there). As you can see, all we had to do was replace the word “Facebook” with the “FB” and our link was properly forwarded.

And that was your content quickie for the day!