OFFICIAL LIVE BLOG - TRANSCRIPT - Room of Your Own - Your Blog is Great, Get People to Know About It

Jen:    So just to tell you what we’re gonna do today, we’re gonna talk about three different aspects of getting people to find your blog, SEO, which you know a little of that, social networking, which you know a bit, and marketing, which you know a little about.  And I think that when you put it together, you have a pretty good package of knowledge to walk away with.  And of course just ask any questions along the way that you’d like to, also.

    I’m going to start off with search engine optimization and I’m sure you’ve heard a little bit about it and I’ll give you and example of something that travel writers do which is a mistake online which works great in magazine which is write a very cute title.  If you were talking about a hotel room, you would say, “How sweet It Is.”  Nobody’s going to Google that as a search term, so think about the search term instead, like, “Best Hotel Room in Santa Fe” and then you can open with that first sentence but in that paragraph repeat those keywords because you have to think about what people are searching for if they’re using Google or Bing or whatever.  They’re not gonna be putting in a cute title.  You have to have a match with your keywords, which is what the search terms are, in the first paragraph.

Female 1:    I think just to follow on to what Jen was saying in terms of understanding what it is that people are looking for or what keywords they are using, one tool that I found really useful is Google Trends.  I don’t know if any of you are familiar with that or if you’ve used it before, but you can go and you can enter different search terms into it and then it’ll tell you what the popularity is in terms of how often people are searching for those particular terms.

    Let’s say you want to write something about drinks and drinking and whatever else and you’re kind of going, okay, well, do people – are they searching for alcohol?  Are they searching for booze?  Are they searching for drinks?  Are they searching for beer?  Are they searching for wine?  What terms is it that people are using in the search term?  Then you can go and enter all of those in to Google Trends and it will give you a comparative of what it is that people are looking for and you can then pick and choose the ones that are gonna be most useful that most people are looking for and that’ll help to drive that traffic to your blog.

Jessica:    And I also found, too, that when I’m coming up with a title for my blog, a lot of times I’ll think of what I would Google to get that.  So we’ve been talking a lot on Twitter about mom blogger burnout and feeling obligated to PR people.  So when I wrote a recent post, I said, “Feeling obligated to say yes?  Here’s why you don’t have to.”  And so when people search by “feeling obligated to say yes,” it comes up.  So sometimes I don’t have time ‘cause I tend to put my hands in a lot of different pots, which I know a lot of us do, and so if I don’t have time to do the formal tools, I’ll think of what I would Google it for and maybe what my friends would Google and use that as the title and it seems to automagically work.

Jen:    There’s another website and if somebody is online right now, they can find the exact URL ‘cause I don’t remember it, but if you Google AdWords keywords, you’ll find it.  It’s something like AdWords.keywords external and what this does is it gives you a box and you type in the keyword you’re thinking of using, like family travel is one that I use all the time, and then you can find how often they’re searched and you can see comparative search terms that go along with it and you can try to hit all of those or you can select a couple of them and use them and keep hitting them.  And what the search engines really want to see is a repeat of your keywords often enough, not crazy salted, but often enough that they know it’s really what you’re writing about and that’s to prevent people from cheating ‘cause of some of this what you call black hat kind of cheating.

    So don’t use Britney Spears as your search term and never write about her.  That won’t work.  And the exactly URL, I use keyword – AdWords keywords all the time.

Female:    AdWordsKeywords.com.

Jen:    I don’t know why I couldn’t figure that one out, but it’s a really fantastic tool ‘cause it tells you what people are using as their search terms for what you’re writing about already so you don’t have to make stuff up.  If you look at a trend and the trend is 7-Up, you don’t have to decide I’m gonna write an article about 7-Up.

Female:    Is that Google’s?

Female:    No.

Female:    That site?  ‘Cause Google has something similar, also.

Jen:    Are you thinking about Google Analytics?

Female:    No, it’s GoogleAdwords.com.  That came up before AdWordsKeywords.com.

Female:    And it’s a similar thing.

Jen:    I actually think that it’s that one.

Female:    Yeah, GoogleAdwords.

Female:    So GoogleAdwords _____?

Jessica:    Yeah.  Also, you don’t want to put in keywords that aren’t relevant but will bring lots of search because the idea is that you’re gonna get loyal readers, right?  You don’t just want to get someone who’s hitting your blog because they came by a search word that you’re not really writing about.  So you want people to get to know your blog.  You don’t want people to get to know a click, right, ‘cause then it kind of defeats the whole purpose of doing that background work in the first place.

Female 1:    It depends I guess, too, what you’re trying to get traffic for and if you are trying to get loyal readers, then that certainly is always the case.  But for some people, depending on your revenue sort of program and how it is that you’re making money on your blog, for some people just a click is even good even if it isn’t necessarily to what it is that you’re writing about.  Myself, I’m part of the BlogHer Ads Network, so certainly I do want loyal readers.  I want people to come back but a click is a click is a click and it brings in revenue for me.

    And one unfortunate search term that I get tons of traffic on is naked kids and naked children because I wrote a post about letting your kids be naked when they’re little and so, yeah, there’s lots of people that are not finding what they’re looking for on my blog but I’m making a little bit of money off of their unfortunate search terms.

Female:    I wrote a blog post once on how my son is hairy and needed a haircut and I started getting all these creepy links from hairy children.

Female:    Okay, that’s another spin on –

Female:    I had _____ _____.  I was scared to find it.

Jen:    I did an interview with an actress who made a movie in Greece and suddenly I got all these Arab bad word movies keywords finding me.  I don’t know how that happened but it was very scary.  What people search for is diverse from what you might be writing about.  And also, if you look at Google or Bing, you’ll know there’s a list.  That’s called page rank.  You want to be up on the page rank.  Nobody ever searches past the third page for a hit so page rank is really important, too.

Female:    I have a question about that.  Is it true, at least if you’re signed into Google on your computer, that when you search, your results may be customized for you?  So when I search Google for certain terms, I come up on a first page.  But I’m wondering, is that just for me or are other people seeing my blog on the first page, too?

Female 1:    No, absolutely you’re right.  If you’re signed in and you’re searching, then it’s gonna be based on your search history and your preferences and things like that.  So try logging out and then do the search –

Jen:    Remove the cookies, too.

Female 1:    – and, yeah, and that’ll help, or go to another computer.  I’ll sometimes check on my work computer or my husband’s computer or something like that if I want to get a sense.

Jessica:    Well, and Google page rank, too, you know how everyone’s always kind of, well, I’m a little bit obsessed with that number and if it goes up or goes down.  And last time they did the updates, I had been a five and I went down to a three and I’d added a really long blog roll, so I’m gonna share what I learned just last month about this.  If you use WordPress, there’s a plug-in that – and I don’t know the name of it right now but if you tweet me, I’ll find it out and tweet it out.  But basically it takes your blog roll and does no follow just for the front page, but as people are going through your posts, if they go to a singular post, it’s still follow.  So you’re still giving that link love but you’re not giving up the link juice for your own page rank.

    So it’s still a give and take with that and once I figured that out, it went back up to a five within a day.  So little things like that can really make a difference of how many outgoing links you have and how many are incoming to you.

Jen:    What Jessica’s talking about is –

Jessica:    I saw some people going –

Jen:    What she’s talking about is the way that Google decides where you fall isn’t because you have such a beautiful post but they want to know how many people link into you, ‘cause that tells them this is an important piece of writing.  This is something that other people like.  And the higher the page rank of the person or site linking to you, the more juice it has.  So one incoming link from the L.A. Times or the New York Times is gonna be fantastic.  It might equal – I’m making up a number – let’s pretend ten of your friend’s link to you.  So you want to know how to get –

Jessica:     It’s weighted.

Jen:    Right, it’s weighted.  So to rise in the ranks, you want incoming links that are followed by the Google robots.

Female:    But how did it decrease?  You said it went from a five to a three so what did you change?

Jessica:    Well, because I added the blog roll, right, so I had 20 –

Jen:    It looked like it was a current –

Female:    So you had outgoing –

Jessica:    I added outgoing links so the ratio went off balance of incoming versus outgoing.

Female:    It measures the ratio of incoming and outgoing?

Jessica:    Of incoming and outgoing, yes.  So if you have all those sidebar _____, that’s why your Google page rank isn’t going up.

Jen:    They don’t like link farms, which are just pages and pages of outgoing links, and it read her – I mean it’s not a person looking at it and seeing her quality site.  It’s a robot just measuring the ratio.

Female:    And it looked like a link farm because the ratio was –

Jen:    It looked like it could have been so she got dinged, but she fixed it.

Jessica:    There’s a lot of question.  Here, I’ll let the microphone decide who –

Female:    I was gonna say why does page rank matter?

Jessica:    Well, it shouldn’t be the only thing that matters but I mean for me it’s just more of just kind of a personal game I play now ‘cause I got up to five and I wasn’t sure how.  But when you’re getting into monetization and the advertisers are starting to look at you or a lot of the PR firms and brands are starting to not just look at traffic but looking at page rank, too, which is actually good for some people ‘cause it’s a whole package.  It’s not just numbers.  It’s influence and SEO.

Female 1:    And it helps with your search ranking, as well.

Jessica:    Yeah, that you come up.

Jen:    Some people will find you through Twitter or other – we’ll talk about social networking in a minute.  But if you’re found through searches, I was saying who goes past the third page of search results.  Page rank matters ‘cause it says how high you’re gonna fall in a result.

Jessica:    It depends who you’re writing for, too.  If you’re writing for a community that’s established and you don’t care about the search traffic, then it really doesn’t matter at all.

Female:    But that’s not necessarily true ‘cause I got nailed two years ago when Google did the smack down and I’ve been at PR 0 since and I still rank on first page for certain terms.  So you can with a PR 0 still rank on the first page as long as you’re doing what you’re talking about doing.

Female 1:    It depends on the terms, yep.

Female:    So page rank isn’t everything, either.

Jen:    No.  This section of what we’re talking about, there’s other stuff, too, but in terms of search engine optimization –

Jessica:    Yeah, this isn’t a debate of whether PR –

Jen:    – this is people, how they’re finding you if they don’t already know you.

Female:    Well, I still get searches even with a PR 0.

Jen:    That’s great.

Female:    And I get pages and pages.

Female 1:    That’s awesome.  Who knows what goes on in the mind of Google?

Female:    Well, ‘cause it’s visible.  I think I still have it here.  I just _____ _____.

Female:    What is your Twitter handle.  You can tell us the name of that plug-in.

Jessica:    Oh, okay.  My Twitter handle is Jessica Knows.  Not nose, k-n-o-w-s, Jessica K-n-o-w-s.

Female:    Is that plug-in just if you’re on WordPress?

Jessica:    No.

Female 1:     I mean what I’ve done, as well, that hasn’t affected my page rank is I have my blog roll on a separate page so I just created a page and that’s where I have all of those links.  So they’re not going off of the main page of my site, so I just, yeah, I sort of put it off to the side.

Jessica:    These are all really good questions.

Female:    So I know with my regular site, we submitted the site index, the site structure to Google.  So with the blog component, is there any sort of submission of that kind that you do with Google?  Do you know what I’m talking about?  Any sort of special –

Jen:    Some people like to do that.  They will submit it as soon as they crank it out.  But if you have enough history, ‘cause that’s another thing that determines page rank is how long you’ve been around, you’ll get spidered within 48 hours anyway, so it depends on what kind of rush you’re in to get indexed – to get into the Google brain.

Female:    Okay, so it’s needless work if you’ve been doing it a while?

Jen:    Yeah.  People like to do it.  If you want it to be instantly up there it’s not needless.  You choose what you want to do.  You could work 24 hours a day networking yourself.  You don’t have to, though.  You can pick and choose what you do.

Female:    Is there anything different to do with Bing as opposed to Google?  ‘Cause we’re well indexed with Google, but Bing, we’re just not doing so well with.

Female:    Bing is weird to me.

Jen:    Bing is weird to me, too.  It’s weird to me, too.

Female:    I don’t do the Bing.

Jen:    Google is right now such a monster of search that you don’t need to really think about Yahoo! or Bing or Dogpile or whatever.  But if you want to, I found this site that lines up the three, Yahoo!, Google, and Bing, and you put in your metatag, your big keyword, and you see where you fall in each three.  And I found that I fell about the same in all three.  The Traveling Mamas looks at what we get that are from search terms, the monster is from Google.  It’s really disproportionate.  It’s something like 95 percent Google.

Female:    What’s this website that you’re talking about?

Jen:    I don’t know right now but if you tweet me, I’ll find it when I get back on to my laptop.

Female:    What’s your tweet name?

Jen:    Mudslide Mama.

Female:    Mudslide?

Jen:    Mudslide Mama, yeah.

Female:    You had said something about metatags.  I have the free WordPress.com and you can’t plug-in a metatag and you can’t plug-in a meta description.  What can you do with that sort of format to improve your SEO?

Jen:    Okay.  I hear what you’re saying and it used to be that metatags were really super important.  They’re less important to Google now ‘cause they’ve gotten so – their algorithm changes constantly as they tweak it but they’ve also gotten more advanced and be able to scan the actual content.  So it’s not as important as it used to be.  A couple of years ago, I would have said just soldier up and get to the next level of WordPress where you can customize it more.  But if you don’t want to, you don’t have to because Google is much better at just reading content now with its robots.

Female 1:    And I find that in addition to reading the content, as well, what I try to do, especially in the posts that I really do want to do well on Google, is I’ll try to put in headings and have sort of the keywords in the headings because Google will give higher ranking to those headings than just to regular text.  So I might break a post into sort of four sections and try to use the keywords in the headings and in the title and that’ll really help to pull it up, as well.

Female:    Kind of a follow up.  One thing I can do is I can actually edit the URL so it’s not necessarily tied to the title.  Would that improve the search if I –

Jen:    I think if you already have incoming links to that URL, you don’t want to change it.

Female:    No, before you post it, I mean, you could – ‘cause usually what happens on WordPress is that it puts the title in the URL but you can actually edit the URL –

Jessica:    Oh, the permalink?

Female:    Yes, before you publish.  So the title is gonna remain the same but the URL will change.  Would that make any difference, to put a better keyword in the URL to look?

Jessica:    I think if you’re gonna change anything you should change both, right?

Jen:    Yeah, exactly.  I want to talk about getting some more links.  You have a main page.  That’s your main URL.  Deep links to individual pages are worth more to Google and so what you really want to get are deep links more than somebody saying, Mudslide Mama, TravelingMamas.com.  I’m like, yay, an incoming link but if they referenced a specific blog post, it would be juicier.

    And the way that you can sort of – it’s called link bait and it’s not black hat exactly but it’s a little bit cheating.  You can put those posts up, maybe on Twitter.  I use MIX and Furl and Delicious.  These are all sites where you can put your post up there and you hope that somebody else will see it and then link to your site ‘cause they liked it and then they will give you a deep link.  

    For an example, someone somewhere recently said, “I found an interesting post about unaccompanied minors.”  And then the unaccompanied minors was highlighted and it was a post I’d written about it.  That’s a really yummy deep link ‘cause it’s surrounded by the keywords and it’s not the actual URL.  The URL is embedded into the keywords.  That’s exactly the best kind of deep link you can get to help your page rank, if that’s what’s important to you.

Jessica:    And so as a community, if you have friends that you’re working with, you can give each other deep links, relevant ones, but that’s how you start building up I like to call your awesome allies, people that are supporting you in building your blog, which I’ll get to talk to more of that later.

Jen:    That’s a little bit of marketing.

Jessica:    Of marketing, yeah.

Jen:    But also – oh, I’m sorry, go ahead.

Female:    When you do this, do you do a post and then immediately go over to MIX and Furl and –

Jen:    I don’t consider myself done until I do that.

Female:    So right away, you do that?

Jen:    Yeah, or else I never get around to it ‘cause I’m lazy.  And Facebook.  Come on, those are your friends on Facebook.  I never not link up to Facebook.

Female:    Is Facebook _____ _____ or _____ do we know?

Jen:    I don’t know if Dig still does it and I hate Dig but I’ll talk about that in a little bit.  They fold it into a new Facebook page so you don’t get the click.  So that’s not a good link coming in but if somebody – if a friend of yours or somebody who’s gonna be through Facebook likes it and writes a post –

Female:    They’re gonna link to mine.

Jen:    That’s the deep link.

Female:    And it’s easy to _____ _____ _____ the top right corner _____ _____.

Jen:    Right, but if you’re not thinking of that, you’re not gonna do that.  You’re gonna read it right there.

Female:    _____ _____ _____ good thing.

Jen:    And that is an incoming link.

Female:    What’s a ping?  I’m new at all this.  What’s a ping?

Female:    A ping?

Female:    Bing?

Female:    A ping?

Jen:    You mean have you been pinged?  That means that you’ve gotten somebody to link to you.

Jessica:    They’ve hit your site.  They’ve pinged it.  Ping!

Female 1:    And then there’s also on certain different platforms and sites out there, pinging will be that they’ve checked your blog.  So Technorati, for example, if you’re registered with Technorati, then Technorati will ping your blog every once in a while to check for new content and to check for new links and that type of thing.

Jessica:    And I’ll do an interpretive dance about ping.

Jen:    A little while ago I said the word ding.  I hope that’s not what you heard when I said, “Google dinged.”

Female:    No, no, no.  I know what dinged is.

Female:    What’s Technorati?

Female 1:    Technorati is a site that actually will rank different blogs that are out there based on how many other people are linking to them.  It unfortunately doesn’t work as well these days as it used to work.

Male:    Yeah, I was gonna say.  It doesn’t ping our sites like it used to.

Female 1:    Well, you can go in and manually ping your own but I find it’s not picking up a lot of my incoming links so it’s not nearly as good as it used to be, but I think it’s still a useful tool.

[Crosstalk]

Female:    So this is a follow up about I think it was Stephanie who said to have share – link each other.  I’ve actually read and heard in a lot of different places from SEO people that it’s a bad thing to do because they’re smart.  Google’s smart and they actually penalize you for that.  

Female 1:    Well, I think if you do it over and over and over again, but –

Female:    I just want to make sure people know that you’re giving advice for people to be sharing links –

Female 1:    Yeah, that’s a good point.

Female:    – but it’s detrimental.  It’s not a good thing.

Female 1:    If you do it over and over.

Jen:    Yeah, we’re talking about reciprocal links and I was gonna – it’s actually on my little list right here.  It’s not as valued an incoming link exactly what I wrote.  It depends on how organized you are with your friends.  You can have an incoming link from somebody and link to somebody else who then links to that person.  That’s called triangulization.  I probably pronounced that wrong.  It’s a little bit cheating but it works to triangulate your links that way.

Female 1:    Or just even within groups of people, and we’re gonna talk more about social media later, but sort of it’s on Twitter something that really helped me when I was first starting to build my blog and that I now use to help other people build their blogs is if I’m working on a post on something, I’ll put out a tweet and I’ll say, “Hey, has anyone written anything about such and such?”  And people will send me stuff and then that saves me in terms of the work that I’m doing writing my post because I’ve got all these great resources that I can link to when I do that.  And so I’ll do that now to help other people out and also to help myself and my writing process.  But when I was just getting started, I followed people on Twitter that had much bigger blogs than I did and much bigger followings than I did.

    So just for example, $5 Dinners?  I don’t know if any of you knows $5 Dinners.  She put out a tweet saying, “Oh, I’m looking for ideas for my March menu plan.  Anyone have any ideas?”  I didn’t realize how big her blog was when I answered it and said, “Here’s a casserole recipe that I have up.”  And I got thousands of page views.

Female:    I’m like what’s that site, again?

Female 1:    Thousands of page views from her March menu plan to my casserole recipe which is something that it took me five minutes to write and it took me ten seconds to tweet her about it and thousands of page views just from that which it usually takes a lot more work to get that type of traffic.  I mean I’ve done that with her but with other people, as well, I’ll just sort of watch.  And Crunchy Domestic Goddess is another one that she’s – I started following her when I first got on to Twitter and she would say, “Oh, anyone written anything about epidurals?” or about this or that.  And then you reply, “Here’s my post.” and they’ll link to you.  And so now I do the same for other people and it’s just a good way of building up those links to each other and supporting each other in the blogosphere.

Jen:    I think we’re leaking into the social networking, which is a lot of fun.  It’s more fun than the SEO stuff, which is a chore.  But because I know that we could spend all day talking about that, I just want to finish up a couple of more thoughts about getting your page rank up and Google and then we can get to the fun stuff.  I talked about three-way linking a minute ago.  That’s on my list.  But free for all link patterns don’t work for you.  In other words, an attachment parenting blog that has nothing to do with travel, linking to me, Google knows that her keywords are all about attachment parenting and that mine are all about family travel.  That won’t be a valuable incoming link, although it would be really a pleasure.

Female 1:    I do travel with my family.

Jessica:    Yeah, you could be an attachment parent and travel.

Jen:    So what you want to look for are other blogs with similar keywords and tasks for it to be relevant because that tells – remember, these are robots, like I said, not people looking at it.  The robots will see the affiliated metatag keywords, the main keywords, and know that it’s a similar blog like in your post.  So that’s a very juicy, deep link to get is from a related blog or travel column of MSNBC or something.  That would be really great.

    So that’s no free for all patterns and as Jessica was talking about sort of when she was talking about her blog roll, be nice and link to other people, too.  We’re a community here and if you link to other people, people will link back to you.  It’s the right thing to do and we support each other.  Something that Annie does, I think, to get some attention is write controversial things.  Don’t be afraid to have an opinion.  Even if it’s an opinion that somebody else will hate, at least they’re reading it and it starts a discussion.  A heated disagreement is okay as long as there’s not no threats or anything.

Female 1:    Just be respectful.  That’s the thing I’d say.  Don’t be afraid about writing about controversial topics and we’ve seen a lot of that lately on a lot of topics and Jessica can speak to that on some of the things that have been going around in the sort of mommy blogging and reviews and this and that.  Yeah, don’t be afraid to speak out on a controversial topic.  Just be respectful when you do it and people will come because people are gonna start linking to you.  They’re gonna be talking about it.  They’re going to want to come and have their say on your blog and the comments.

    So I will write about controversial topics and then I’ll also sort of give some visibility to the comments, too, that come in.  So if someone leaves a really interesting comment I might tweet about that and go, “Oh, so and so just said such and such.  Come and check it out.”  And then that’ll bring a whole ‘nother rush of people coming in to add something onto that, as well.

Jessica:    Then it’s like but don’t be mean to them.  Just come in.  And sometimes you’ll write a controversial post and you won’t even know it was controversial until you wake up the next morning and all of a sudden you’ve got haters on your site.

Jen:    One of my writers is very tall so I can’t relate to this problem but she had a problem with legroom and paying more on some airline for more legroom.  And so she wrote about how cranky she was that there was an empty seat no one was using and she wasn’t allowed to move up to it unless she paid 15.00 bucks.  So she wrote about that.  Three other sites that were pro airline linked to that full of hate, angry, angry, angry.  But we got some link juice and that’s one of our highest ranked pages because of those hate _____ so bring it on.  It’s okay to be controversial in terms of SEO search rank stuff.

    Another thing that will garner you I would call link bait because it can get you people linking to you is top ten lists.  People love top ten lists and people will never agree 100 percent with your top ten list and that’s why they will have their own and then link to yours.  So if you write about anything that could have a top ten, do it, and that’s also a great keyword, writing top ten _____ things.

Female 1:    Yeah, my absolute top post, three times more traffic than any other post I’ve ever written, is the ten reasons why we don’t do cry it out.  And that is a heated topic in parenting circles, right, so people that are – if someone’s saying, “Oh, I’m doing cry it out with my two-week old baby and everything.” people will send the link to my post over and over and over again.  So it gets linked to from forums.  It ranks well in the search engines.  It gets linked to from other people’s posts about cry it out.

    So it’s the top ten that people like ‘cause it’s not just my little, “Oh, well, we really didn’t feel like doing it,” and blah, blah, blah.  It’s Reason 1, Reason 2, Reason 3, Reason 4 and it’s very matter of fact and people like that.

Jen:    And it’s organic for travel, too, ‘cause if you write the top ten best restaurants in Chicago, you’re gonna start a war but you’ll rank high up on the page views ‘cause people are gonna be linking to it and saying, “How could you not have _____ _____ _____ _____?”

    Is a question back there?

Female:    I just want to say for the top ten, my No. 1 post are top ten reasons while I will always look pregnant.  Abdominal hernia from both pregnancies.  No. 1 post.  

    I have a CEO question about a WordPress plug-in.  I installed it but I don’t know if I’m supposed to do something with it.

Jen:    Is it to tell you what the keywords are?

Female:    I don’t know.  Do you recommend a plug-in?

Female:    What is it?

Female:    Is itonline SEO?

Female:    Yes.

Jen:    Oh, is it the platinum instead of the all-in-one?

Female:    It’s the all-in-one.

Jessica:    I switched to Robots Meta.

Jessica:    That’s the one I use.

Female:    The meta?

Jessica:    It’s called Robots Meta and actually Stephanie Ely, who’s Busy Mommy – is she in here?  Her husband told me about it and that – I did that the same day I used the blog roll plug-in and that was automagical, too.  It’s called Robots Meta.

Female:    Robots Meta.

Jessica:    Um-hum, and I just installed it, activated it, and didn’t tinker with anything and it –

Female:    You like it better than the all-in-one SEO?

Jessica:    Um-hum.

Female:    I’m gonna try one.

Jessica:    I use platinum, too, platinum SEO.

Female:    Are you all on WordPress?

Jen:    That’s just a coincidence.

Jessica:    Well, I did it at the same time I did the blog roll one, so it’s hard to tell the degree of it.

Jen:    If you have regular all-in-one, platinum is supposed to be better, but it screwed up my data somehow so we disinstalled it.

Female:    What’s the blog roll plug-in?

Jessica:    I have to look it up later but if people tweet us, I’ll send it out.

Female:    My question is about when you comment on people’s blogs that have the comment love and then it has a link to your most recent blog post, is that considered a deep link or is that not – does that count at all towards Google?

Jen:    I believe those are not followed.  Those are called no follows and most times if you put your link in your signature, people can click on it to find you but Google doesn’t read them ‘cause they’re not followed by robots.  There’s a little coding that says no follow.

Female 1:    You can sometimes, in the comments, you can switch it off or on in terms of whether you want those links to be follow or not follow in the comments on your blog.  And I know some people that have switched it to have it be follow and then their page rank goes way down.  But they were saying, “Oh, I’ll do it to help my friends and everything.” but then it hurt them in the end.

Jen:    But still leave comments because that’s part of what makes it _____.

Female:    Hi.  Oh, this is loud.  I started off on Blogspot and I’ve since heard that WordPress is maybe a better venue.  So I guess my basic question is are you all on WordPress and if so, could you just quickly explain the benefits of WordPress versus Blogspot?

Jen:    I will tell you first of all that I’m sure that all of us have been scraped, have been plagiarized.  It’s easy to track down some plagiarists where you find your exact post somewhere else and somebody else is claiming that they wrote it.  It’s easy to find it if you just set up a Google alert.  You’ll have it.

    Blogger I think is something like 85 percent of my piracy issues comes with Blogger and it’s hard to track them down.  Blogger doesn’t help so I have a problem with Blogger in terms of what I think their goals are.  I don’t use Blogger not for that reason but because WordPress is better anyway.

Female:    It’s better why?

Jessica:    Well, I like all the plug-ins and I also –

Jen:    Yeah, and they’re very supportive.

Jessica:    Yeah, and I also like having it _____ posted because than I own it and I can go in and I like to tinker and tweak.  If you read my blog, you know I change my header every other month.  I like to be able to customize it because for me, that’s half the geeky fun.  Where Blogger is more plug and play, WordPress is – there’s a learning curve and I self-taught, but there’s also a lot of women out there online who are WordPress experts.  They’re very reasonably priced, too, if you run into a real hairy kind of ordeal.

Jen:    Another thing about WordPress is that they have a forum so you can ask questions and get an answer from another WordPress user there and there’s been so many questions that your question has probably already been answered if you look in the history of it.

Female:    Thanks.

Male:    I have one comment and one question.  The comment is I don’t know if you have any philosophical opinion about this, but if you want and you have access to the HTML of your post, you can put in that a link should be no follow.  It’s Rel equals and then in quotes you put “nofollow.”  And the only times I’ve ever used that – I mean you could do it in a blog roll if you couldn’t have a plug-in or something but could customize your own HTML.  But also if you want to write about and link to something that is controversial but you feel like they’re doing it in a way that really isn’t responsible and they’re simply doing it for the link bait, you can put it in a link that’s a no follow link so they don’t get that juice.

Female 1:    Yeah, I do that.  I do that.

Female:    What’s _____ again?

Male:    It’s Rel equals and then in quotes “nofollow” one word, and it’s something that would go inside AH ref of your link.  And I wouldn’t do it if somebody was just raising a good question or something but if they’re doing something just to be hateful and you want to be able to link to them but not give them a benefit from doing that, you can add that in.

Jessica:    And I believe Robots Meta lets you do that, too, where you can set all the links in your post as no follow or follow is you so choose.

Male:    And if can follow up, my question is I run a blog that we got some very good links from major mainstream media a little while ago and have since switched from Blogspot to a custom publishing engine.  And part of the transition was we could not carry over all of the – transition all the links to be still connected to our new blog location.  And so we lost everything as far as page rank, all that stuff.  So in the position that we’re in now, we have an archive that we maintain that gets as much traffic as our new site and we’ve been in our new site for eight months or so.  And I just wonder if you have advice, design advice or bringing those people over with better consistency to our new site after that?

Female 1:    Sure.  I’ve done that a little bit in that I used to be hosted on WordPress and then I went to being self-hosted, so I had lots of people linking to WordPress.phd and parenting.com or the other way around.  I don’t know.  There’s a redirect in place so it does actually work, but still I wanted to – I did want to have people linking to the actual correct one and also in terms of my Technorati rating and things like that.  What I did is some of the big ones, the ones that I got a lot of traffic from, I actually emailed them and said, “I’d really appreciate it if you could update the link in X.”  So maybe for some of the larger media outlets and so on, I don’t know if they’d be willing to do that

Male:    Yeah, we’re in a position where it’s really the new content is a totally different URL string than the old content and they’re not redirected.

Female 1:    But is it the same article?

Male:    No.

Female 1:    It’s not at all?  Okay.

Male:    If you want our old material, you go to the old site.  If you want our new material –

Female 1:    New material, yeah.  That’s tougher ‘cause it isn’t sort of a one-to-one.

Jessica:    I tried to switch and I switched back to WordPress because I really like Squarespace and the functionality of it but the permalinks weren’t going to match up and I was like it’s cool and fun but I’m not gonna start from scratch.

Male:    Does Google or other sites penalize you if you have duplicate content –

Jen:    Yes.  And your new one is the one that will get penalized for being the newer one ‘cause it won’t know that that’s not you scraping somebody else.  It can’t tell.  I want to say that you’re just eight months old on this new one and time is a big factor, too.  ‘Cause there are so many people who start blogs and a month later they’re like, “Ah, forget it.”  So really, if you hang in there, it’ll come back.

    And before we stop talking about SEO and get into the fun part of social networking, I don’t think that I can stress this enough.  If you go to MIX or Furl or Delicious and you only put your links in and you don’t play with the other people and you don’t maybe stick in some other link to somebody else once in a while you’re gonna get blacklisted.  And this happened for the big e-magazine I wrote for.  I still write for _____ 101 where it’s gotten blacklisted from a couple of sites because there’s so many writers there that were sticking in their stuff and not interacting or being part of the community.

    So even if you don’t want to be part of the MIX.com community, pretend you do and leave a comment on somebody else’s thing and stick in some URL that doesn’t belong to you once in a while because all these other sites want to be social media sites and they don’t want to be spammed and if you act spammy you will get blacklisted and that’s not fun.

Female 1:    I actually think that is starting to go into the social media a little bit with _____ those things ‘cause I use those quite a bit as just a part of my sort of social media I guess network of what I do.  So I follow people on Twitter and then if they post about a new post that they have out and I click on it and I like it then sometimes I might leave a comment, sometimes I might Stumble it, sometimes I might Dig it, but it’s sort of that way it also gets – it helps me to drive traffic to other people’s sites but it also mixes things up so that I’m not only promoting my own content on those venues and I’m promoting other people’s content more so than mine.  And there’s even some people out there that will say never, ever, ever Stumble your own posts, so there’s diverging opinions out there as to whether it’s okay to do it or not, but you definitely shouldn’t be Stumbling only your own content.

Jessica:    When she says Stumble, she means StumbleUpon.com and actually I don’t – I hate to say this but I don’t use MIX or Furl or Dig.  I’ve used Dig a few times but I do use StumbleUpon and so with that said, if SEO is really important to you than these will all work but there’s – we’re gonna talk about three different methods.  But it’s still like what feels right to you.  So just because we’re talking about all these plug-ins, I mean, do you guys agree?  You’re here to learn SEO but that doesn’t mean all of a sudden all it just becomes about page rank.  It’s still your voice and so I just thought that was important to point out because you don’t want to –

Female 1:    And you can’t do everything.

Jen:    That’s right.  You have to pick and choose.

Female 1:    Figure out what’s gonna work best for you and try different ones out.

Female:    Hi.  I actually write a blog for McAfee, so it’s a corporate site that I’m trying to drive traffic to and they’re a company who mainly does grassroots advertising.  They don’t pay for advertising.  Do you have any tips for somebody who’s not using WordPress or is not using one of those things?

Jessica:    Get people who are to guest blog for you.

Female:    Good tip.

Jessica:    I’m sure there’s a lot of bloggers out here who would love to guest blog for McAfee, right?

Female:    Give me your card and let me know.  Write a note on it that that’s what you’d like.

Female 1:    I have my own blog but I also happen to blog for one of my clients, which is a government organization, and so I blog and tweet on their behalf.  And so there’s a lot of things that I do for my personal blog that I can’t do for my client.  I can’t be creating controversy on behalf of the government of Canada.  It doesn’t work that way.  So I’m a little bit more limited but then you have to sort of seek out other things, too.  The stuff that I do for the government is related to small business and entrepreneurship and that type of thing so I can seek out those communities and try and sort of spread the word there.  So yeah, different techniques depending on the type of blog that you have.

Female:    When we’re talking about things like StumbleUpon and there’s a new one called Scribnia that’s supposed to be connecting blogs and there’s all these indexing sites and even the BlogHer main site that have all these category headings.  I mostly read personal blogs and mostly about a few issues.  I mean they’re not limited, of course.  They’re very colorful and diverse.  But how important are those headings?  It’s frustrating to me that all the blogs – I read probably 200 diverse blogs and they’re all personal or family.  _____ _____ headings?  Do people actually browse on those things by heading?

Female 1:    Yes.  When I started my blog and I was trying to build traffic, and I think this is a good opportunity for any of you that are really just getting started, I went to WordPress, for example, and you can search sort of by their tags there.  And so I said, okay, these are the things that I want to be writing about on my blog and so I would follow those tags and I would go and check every day and say, okay, who’s written something about breastfeeding, about attachment parenting, about co-sleeping, about whatever?  And I would go to those blogs.  I would read what they had written.  I would comment on their blogs.  I would link to their posts when I wrote and those were things that really helped me at the beginning to build up my community and to build up sort of my traffic was getting out there and doing that.

Female:    Grieving is not a heading.

Female 1:    Sorry?

Female:    Where is grieving?

Female:    Grieving, loss, death are not – those are not headings at all on any of these services and there’s thousands of blogs.

Female 1:    But they’re tags and that’s what the WordPress tags, it’s more a keyword, so there you can go on anything that anyone might have tagged their posts –

Female:    Should I be posting to these services to add labels?

Jessica:    See I don’t really pay attention to all that.

Female:    Does it matter?

Jen:    It does matter if you are not using – if you’re not searching for something on a search engine but in Blogger, if you want to read a blog about, well, family or entertainment, there’s tons of that, and you’re right.  I never saw anything specifically about grieving but maybe if you’re talking about grieving –

Female:    _____ _____ comes up on Google.  If limits what comes up on Google _____ _____ because those headings are not there.

Jen:    It doesn’t limit what comes up on Google.  It limits what you can find within a certain social online network like Blogger, though.

Female 1:    And StumbleUpon does have categories, so they have, for example, they’ll have parenting and they have babies are two that my posts end up in a lot of times but they also have the tags.

Female:    They have fertility.  That’s as close as it gets.

Female 1:    But they have the tags, too, so you can use the tags and people can search on tags.

Jessica:    You can create tags on both of them.

Female 1:    You can create tags on StumbleUpon, so yeah, tag it with whatever you think the keywords are.  Yeah, absolutely.

Jen:    It sounds like we’re talking about social networking now so if there’s any last question –

Jessica:    There’s a question over –

Jen:    Oh, go ahead.

Female:    I’ve been doing my blog on TypePad for two years and I’m starting to feel like a dinosaur because everybody I know seems to be doing WordPress.  And just wondering is it a big deal to switch over and do you lose a lot of steam with all of this stuff if you switch platforms?

Jen:    It is a big deal.  This is where it’s worth it to pay somebody who knows programming to just have it done and not have to deal with the agony yourself.  Somebody I know just did transfer all of her stuff, Shilo Scarborough, and at first it was easy and then it was horrible and then it was done.

Female:    Sort of like childbirth.

Jen:    And so she saved herself a wad of cash but I think it would have been worth that money for her to not have all that angina she got from it.  I’m serious.

Jessica:    Are you happy with what your blog is doing now?  I mean let’s not talk about what’s in or what everybody else is doing.  Are you personally happy with TypePad and the traffic that you’re getting in the community that you’re a part of?  ‘Cause really that’s all that matters.

Female:    I’m happy with it.  I would like more traffic.  Wouldn’t we all?  I’m happy with the community and the comments and everything.  I get the feeling that with WordPress you have more ability to –

Female:    You do.

Female:    Like you said, all the plug-ins and just the various things and so I’m kind of tempted by all that and it’s fun bells and whistles kind of thing.  But it sounds like it would really be hell to get to that point.

Female 1:    You might want to test it out, too.  You could always start up something that you’re not really planning to keep just to play around with it and see whether you like the plug-ins and stuff before you make that commitment necessarily.

Jen:    But then really, just pay somebody to transfer it over so you can _____ _____.  It can be really horrible otherwise.

    There’s some questions back there.

Female:    I just wanted to let people know that with the plug-ins, that you have to have a self-posted version of WordPad.

Jen:    Yes, it’s not free.

Female:    _____ _____ extra layer of _____ _____ _____ _____.

Jen:    That’s a really good point.  No, you’re right and I’m glad that you mentioned that.  I forgot to.

Female:    What is this?

Female:    It’s a little buggy and you have to work on it as a blogger _____ _____ and WordPress blog and I mistyped that and I _____ WordPress.

Female 1:    It’s a personal thing.

Jessica:    And sometimes I wish I could switch back to TypePad ‘cause sometimes when it gets all buggy or wonky on WordPress, it’s like – like right now if you go to my site, you may or may not be able to read it ‘cause the text isn’t showing up on my blog and I’ve had lots of people look at it.  They’re like, “I see it.  I don’t see what’s wrong.”  And I’ve gone and looked at the code.  Again, you got to be you and what works for you and, yes, WordPress is what everybody seems to be using but we’re not all alike.  Let’s not forget that.

Stacy:    Hi, again.  Stacy, CreateABalance.com.

Jessica:    Oh, hi.

Stacy:    Hi.

Jessica:    I used to follow you.

Stacy:    Question about Twitter.  So you said tweet me about the plug-in.  So I have a question about timing.  So someone’s gonna tell you, tweet you, you’re going to tweet about the plug-in at 1:00.  I’m gonna get on to –

Jessica:    Well, I don’t know if it’s gonna be 1:00, but –

Stacy:    Whenever it’s gonna be.

Jessica:    No, I know.

Stacy:    No, 1:00 next week.  I’m gonna get on at 5:00 on tweetdoc and I’m gonna scroll whatever I can scroll but I might not get to you.  And then in the reverse, I mean I’m gonna tweet – let’s say I’m tweeting, “Oh, I’m partying at BlogHer,” but my followers might not get on until tomorrow and then they don’t see me.  So I have almost 2,000 followers.  Some might think that’s a lot, some might not.  I feel like I get lost.  So my tweets out there get lost and then how do I follow all the people that I’m trying to follow?

Jen:    I know what you’re saying.  To answer the first part, if you know that Jessica’s gonna shout out this thing, just go to her scroll and see ‘cause she’s not gonna have one million things.

Jessica:    Well –

Jen:    If you follow 3,000 people.

Female 1:    She’s a popular gal.

Jen:    Jessica might.

[Crosstalk]

Jen:    If you ask her specifically on Twitter, she’ll –

Jessica:    I’m a little addicted.

Jen:    – ding you.  She’ll say @ you this is it and then it’ll be right in your little scroll, whoever is –

Jessica:    Okay, but with that said, if ten of you guys @ me, I’m probably not gonna @ all of you back ‘cause then I won’t have room for the link.  But I’ll figure out a way.  If you guys want me to post it on my sidebar –

Female:    No, no, no.  It’s not about that.  It’s not about that.

Jessica:    But timing is a little –

Female:    But how do you manage Twitter?  Do you use tweetdoc?

Jessica:    You don’t want to know how I manage Twitter.

Female 1:    I can talk a little bit about myself.  In terms of the traffic to my blog, I found that really difficult ‘cause I have some people that follow me that follow 12 people and I have other people that follow me that follow 15,000 people, right?  So the people that follow me that follow 12 people, if I post about my new blog post five times in a day, they’re gonna see it five times and they’re gonna get really annoyed.  Whereas the people that follow 15,000 might not see it at all if I post it five times, right?

    So it’s a delicate balance but I found that most of the people that follow me end up being somewhere in that middle range.  So what I’ll usually do is when I put up my post for the first time, I’ll say new post and have the title and have a link to it there.  And then maybe a few hours later I’ll put it up with a slightly different sort of title to kind of catch maybe different people or a different eye.  And later on I might say retweet and then just retweet it.  So that way someone that is seeing it for a second time, they know, “Oh, yeah, okay.  I already saw that.” and it’s hopefully not gonna annoy them that much.

    And later follow up with comments.  So sort of if someone left an interesting comment I’ll say, “Oh, so and so left a great comment on my post from earlier today.”  So I’m trying to mix it up a bit so it doesn’t look like I’m just blasting the same thing over and over and over again, but I do put the message out several times for every new post that I put out and some of them more than others.  If I just put up a word list Wednesday picture of my daughter I’m not gonna blast that ten times, but if I put up something that is a really important message that I think needs to get out there into the community and that I want to engage people in a conversation on, then that I’ll tweet more often than just here’s a cute picture of my daughter having a popsicle.

Jessica:    Well, and I do that and I actually use tweetree.  I don’t know if you guys have seen that.  But tweetree – it’s tweet-r-e-e – and it threads it like a conversation.

Female:    Oh!

Jessica:    It’s really neat.  When I announced to Twitter that I wanted to return to the corporate world, I timed that at 9:00 a.m. Eastern time and then I did it again at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time so I would get all the West Coast coming in for work.  And guess where I’m gonna be working, on the West Coast – from the East Coast.  So for me, I think about timing but I mean I’m almost up to 22,000 followers so it’s – I’ve been saying this all day – bananas.  Everyone’s heard me say that.

    But what I do is using tweetree helps me not miss anybody that is interacting and wants to be part of the conversation.  And then I also put the plug-in.  There’s a few Twitter plug-ins that you can put on your WordPress blog so that when people come to your post, if they like it they can tweet it out, too.  And I try to do the same and actually a lot of people that I get to know as part of this big community we call Twitter, they’ll DM me if they have something that they really want to get out there and say, “Please retweet.”

    So lean on your friends and lean on those that have maybe a larger following than you or have a similar kind of circle of community, because then it’s not just you tweeting and it can become a conversation because it’ll add a discussion to the whole mix.  Does that kind of answer for the time being?

Female:    And if you retweet, people retweet you more often.

Female 1:    Yeah, reciprocate.

Jessica:    Sometimes it’s serendipitous, though, with timing.  That’s kind of what I like about Twitter is that you don’t know who’s looking and a lot of times I’ll discover new people and personalities because I’m on Twitter at a different time than I usually am.  So I think that part’s kind of cool.

Female 1:    And in terms of managing, too, who you’re following, because I don’t know if that was part of the original question, as well, is I have in – well, I sometimes use tweetdeck, sometimes Seismic Desktop, but they’re both a similar concept.  And I have just my alltweets column, then I have a favorites column which is I have a group of about 100 people where I really want to see their tweets all the time so I make sure that I can catch those all the time.  And then I have a couple of keyword columns, as well, and those keyword columns for me are really key in terms of finding new people to follow and also keeping up on what’s being said about the things that I write about.  So I’ll follow those keywords and then if someone’s tweeting something interesting, I will follow them.  Hopefully they follow me back and then that creates maybe a new reader and a new follower.

    It’s a great way really to find new people to follow rather than just something like Follow Friday where there’s random recommendations and it’s like, well, why is that person even being recommended?  Following and seeing, okay, who’s talking about the things that I’m talking about and engaging those people is really important I find.

Female:    How do you create the keyword column on tweetdeck?

Female 1:    You just do a search.  There’s a search box there so if you type in whatever you want to search on, then it’ll usually automatically create the new column for you within your tweetdeck based on that search term.  Yeah, the search is right up on the top.

    If you’re not using tweetdeck, you can do the same type of thing just online on Twitter.  You can use their search and type in a keyword and see what people are saying on that, as well.

Jessica:    Oh, Power Twitter is good, too.  I totally forgot.  I have that in my Firefox so I don’t even realize I’m using a different tool.  So it’s a Firefox plug-in.  It’s called Power Twitter and so you go to Twitter.com and it instantly creates this cool search stuff.

Jen:    That’s the technical term, cool search stuff.

Female:    Jessica, you mentioned that you had 22,000 followers on Twitter.  Can you talk about what you think are some of the reasons why you have so many followers?

Jessica:    Well, sometimes I don’t really know why.  

Female:    _____ good looks.

Jessica:    Based on my good looks.  That’s the first I’ve heard that one.  Thank you.

Female:    Because you answer everybody back.

Jessica:    Really?  Yeah, I mean maybe you can ask some people that follow me.

Female:    When anybody asks you, you answer them back.

Jessica:    And I try and actually I’ve had a few people email me personally and say, “I feel like you don’t really see what I’m saying.  You have so many followers.”  And her phone number was at the bottom and I called her and I said, “That was really not my intention and I can appreciate that ‘cause I know what it’s like when someone doesn’t answer me.”  I’m human just like everyone else and just because I have 22,000 followers doesn’t mean I don’t think anybody’s not special.

    But I’m a big dork, too, and I also tend to get a lot of haters all at the same time for long periods of time and I think people just like to watch the train wreck that happens with that sometimes, right?  But I don’t know.  I always say what I think and sometimes people agree and disagree but I try to keep the discussion going and I think I like to be in the heated discussions but I don’t like to name call and I don’t like to be judgy.  Sometimes it might come across that I am because I’m a little bit snarky sometimes if I feel like I’m being attacked.

    And sometimes people will DM  me and say, “I really want you to be part of this conversation.”  And I do.  I try to respond to everyone, even when it’s a GNO night and there’s 50 to 100 outstanding questions.

Female 1:    That’s insane.

Jessica:    I stay up till 2:00 in the morning ‘cause it means a lot to me.  People on Twitter mean a lot because it’s because of everyone on Twitter and in this blogging community that I’ve had my blog grow, so I try to do anything I can to help anybody that reaches out.  I try.

Female:    I have two questions.  Do any of you use a follow service and if so, which one?  And have you heard of a good one?

Jessica:    I did for a while.  I stopped recently.  I was using Tweet Leader and basically I didn’t do the auto follow like, “Hey, nice to meet ya.  Thanks for following.”  That drives me nuts.  But I did have it automatically follow back because it has a service where if they unfollow you within 24 hours ‘cause it’s one of the spam bots, it will automatically make you unfollow them.  But I realized that I was missing out on that discovery of the new people because it was the timing thing, if they were on at the same time I was.

    So I actually just stopped using it recently and it’s become really tedious but I almost feel like if I’m gonna be following that many people and that many people are following me, then I’ve got to kind of commit to the tedium with checking out and making sure they’re not spam and seeing who they are.  Because it’s kind of what it’s all about.

Female:    Kind of

Jessica:    Well, spam tends to come – and you guys can tell me if you agree with this – but the spam bots tend to all come at once.  And so there was one where it was like they were talking about different Chinese food dishes for a week and I was like, okay, if they’re a current tweet, they’re all talking about Moo Goo Gai Pan or whatever, I was like I’m not following them back.

Jen:    Or the avatars are very sexy ladies and worse.  I had a really nasty one the other day.

Jessica:    Yeah, the porn ones?  You can tell their spam right off the bat.

Female:    And they let you know with the avatars.

Female 1:    But what I’ve done is I’ve stopped following everybody back automatically.  I used to follow back everyone as long as they weren’t a spam or a porn or whatever else but it got to the point where it was just overwhelming and I did not have time to post anymore, to engage the people that I already was following, if I was following everybody back.  So I turned off the notifications.  I don’t get them anymore.  Occasionally if I have time, I’ll go and check sort of my new followers and follow people back, but what I do is I follow everybody back that talks to me.  If I see a new reply come up from someone that I haven’t talked to before, I will follow that person because they’ve engaged me.

    And every once in a while I’ll put out a reminder of that, too, to sort of new followers.  I’ll say, “If you are a new follower, talk to me.  I like to follow back people that are conversing with me.”  And I’ve found that that’s worked really well.  So that way there’s tons of people that are following me and if they want to follow me, then great, but if they don’t want to have a conversation with me, I don’t know that I necessarily need to follow them.

Jessica:    See and I do the opposite ‘cause I’ll follow anybody back that’s not spam because there’s been a few instances where it hadn’t been a direct engagement but I really discovered a really amazing – ‘cause I’m a mom and I’m a blogger but I don’t blog about parenting or domestic stuff ‘cause I’m not – I don’t do housework and so but I like to read about that classic mom experience because it’s what I secretly aspire to be.  So those are my fantasy blogs, really, and so that’s why I think it’s just –

Female 1:    You can come over.

Jessica:    But I also don’t spend as much time on SEO consistently because Twitter and SocialME and Facebook are kind of my thing.  So it’s all personal choice.  It’s what feels good.  ‘Cause if it’s not fun then why are we doing it?

Female:    Actually, you just answered some.  I mean my question is along these same lines about I hear people comment negatively when people have a lot more followers than they are following.  Do you feel like that’s a breach of etiquette?  Because personally I feel like I have enough people that I have as much as I can handle to read and it’s not my fault when more people come and start following me.

Jen:    Well, if they’re following you just so you maybe follow them back and they increase their numbers, they’ll drop off anyway.  And then there’s these kind of fake – I watch Mad Men.  It’s a cable show.  I love it.  So I follow all these fake people that are pretending to be characters on the show and they don’t need to follow back.  I just enjoy those fake tweets but they don’t really count.  And then I was followed by a horse and a dog and Santa Clause.  That doesn’t really count either so much and I didn’t follow them back, although I felt kind of bad not following Santa Clause back.

    But _____ Jessica was saying, and I want to stress this, is that everybody has their area that they really like.  I’m a nerd for SEO and it’s really boring to a lot of people and I felt you guys itching to get over to the social networking part and the Twitter and the Facebook and LinkedIn and everything and for me, I could talk about the nerdy stuff all day but that’s my thing.  Whereas Jessica is so –

Jessica:    I’m just a nerd.

Jen:    No, she’s not a nerd at all.  She’s just very popular and I’m not.  But so you have to do what feels right for you or else it’s come off weird and fake anyway and you’re supposed to enjoy yourself doing this.

Female:    Hi.  I apologize.  I came in late if this has already been asked.  A lot of people said that you shouldn’t tweet your blog posts too often, not every day and maybe a couple of times a week.  How do you guys feel?

Female 1:    Oh, no, do it every day.  Do it every day, yeah, but just don’t –

Jessica:    Yeah, I just do it once.  I have that share this little thing on my bar so I just say, “Just wrote” and I put the title of the post and I just do it once.  I think it’s important that if you’re doing that then you take the time to kind of pay it forward, keep the good karma going and read other people’s when they do it.  ‘Cause some people, that’s all they do is put their posts up there.

Female:    Right, put their posts up there.  It’s kind of boring.

Jessica:    Well, it even sounds interesting but let’s talk, too.

Female 1:    If you don’t do it, then Kelby’s not gonna read your blog ‘cause she told us that this morning, so no.  Yeah, different people have different techniques in terms of how they follow and how they read and some people use their Google Reader and I try maybe once a week to get to my Google Reader –

Jessica:    I use Twitter.  That’s my reader.

Female 1:    – but mostly, like Kelby said in the other sessions, when I use Twitter, someone tweets something interesting while I’m on, I’ll click on that and I’ll go read it.  So if they’re not tweeting their posts, I’m not reading their blog.

Female:    Can I just ask a quick follow up question?  What if you’re not somebody who’s a big talker online just because you’re not?  It’s not you.  How does that fit in or not fit in?

Jen:    You do have to be comfortable with what you’re doing and there’s no right or wrong except for if you’re on Twitter, don’t only put your links up ‘cause that’s unfriendly.  Just follow who you want to follow and write what you want to write in 140 characters or less.  Honestly, there are some things that they do that I don’t do and that I do that they don’t do.  You have to do what’s comfortable and right for you because authenticity is important.  Well, authenticity is important but even beyond that, being comfortable with who you are online is important, too.

Female 1:    I think answering people’s questions sometimes is a way to maybe overcome a barrier.  That’s a thing I know a lot of people say, “I don’t really have anything interesting to say.”  But if you follow other people and if they’re saying, “Does anyone know of” X, Y, Z, whatever, if you can answer other people’s queries, then that’s maybe a way to engage and become part of the conversation and so on without having to feel like you’re really putting yourself out there.

Female:    So as a follow on to that, if you’re going to write a post, you’re going to tweet it, and you want to engage other social media, like you’re gonna put it on StumbleUpon or I don’t usually Stumble my posts but –

Female 1:    Yeah, I don’t recommend Stumbling on –

Female:    – you put it on FriendFeed or you put it on Facebook.  How far do you go down that road and can you give me your perspective on how important that paradigm is versus commenting on other people’s blogs and engaging like that?  I mean if you only have X amount of time and you are wanting to “market your blog,” where do you put that time?

Female 1:    It’s a combination –

Jen:    And there’s also a couple we haven’t even hit on as you were listing that.  LinkedIn is a professional blog site, not a blog but a site, that you can use, and forums are fantastic.  Not anymore ‘cause it’s been so hacked but Yahoo! Answers used to be a good place that you could find but now there’s just all these jokers on it from _____ screwing things up.

Female 1:    But I do get traffic from there.  People will link to my stuff when they’re answering questions.

Jen:    Right.  So again, you just do what feels comfortable for you.  ‘Cause you could spend 24 hours a day doing this crap and knocking yourself out.  And like I was saying, maybe I’m more interested in SEO when I play with that and Jessica’s more interested in social networking and plays with that.  You do what’s right for you and you have to limit it.  You can’t hit everything.  It’ll make you crazy.

Jessica:    I just do what’s fun, honestly.  I mean and sometimes I get curious about a little method of doing something and so I’ll try it out.  Nobody has time to do all of it so just do what’s fun and gets you like, “Whoa, this is the coolest thing ever!”  And then if that’s what you find, you’re doing it right.

Jen:    Can I ask you what you’re blogging about or what you’re into?

Female:    I write about teenagers, especially their relationship to technology and their parents –

Female:    That’s beautiful.

Female:    – to say this is what teenagers are doing.  They’re using social media.  They’re texting.  They’re sexting.  What does this mean?  How can you get involved and learn about it?

Jen:    There’s got to be forums there that teenagers use or that desperate, scared parents of teenagers use and you can—

Female:    No, there are not.  I can’t find them really because parents – they’re – look in the comments section of Amazon Books.  There’s a handful that are really good for teenage parenting.

Female:    This is just comments –

Female:    Yeah, I’ve got parents and teens all over me and they’re literally changing book titles based on the _____.

Female:    So you’re finding them for parenting books –

Female:    And then they have associated forums on _____.  It just happened to be that’s how they found out about these adjacent titles to the one book that helped them understand their teenage son or daughter.  It was really kind of funny and that’s really the $80 million question is how do you get to _____ _____ moms.

Female 1:    Yeah, and forums I have found is really good.  I’m a moderator on one forum, the KellyMom.com message boards over there, so and that’s been huge for me, just having my blog in the signature and so on.  There’s tons of people that will come over that way.  But also on Mothering.com is another place that I’ll go over and they have – there’s a number of forums there.  I mean I’m not going over there to blast my own posts but just even by answering people’s questions honestly, like someone will say, “Do you have any advice on such and such?”  Sometimes I’ll just answer it.  Sometimes I’ll include a link in my answer.  But it’s just a way by helping people and engaging people it will bring more traffic to your blog if it’s on a related topic.

Jen:    And it completely upends the whole model of Google and SEO because – and if Google was smart, they would by Twitter ‘cause –

Female:    I have my Twitter account attached to my Facebook account and so people who – I write a natural parenting site.  I’m for eco child’s play and people who aren’t even parents read my stuff and they really like comment on it from Facebook.  I have these really articulate, awesome comments on Facebook and I kind of try to shift them to the blogs but they never go there.  How do I arm twist them to get them there?

Jessica:    Well, I can answer that.  At least in WordPress, I don’t know about the other platforms, but if you go to I think it’s under the reading settings and you turn it into an excerpt post instead of the full post, then it’ll just show part of the excerpt.  And so to finish reading it, they have to go to your blog.

Female:    But when I tweet a post, then the link goes to my Facebook account.  So it’s just the link.

Jessica:    Yeah, see I don’t hook up Twitter to Facebook because of that.

Jen:    I don’t either and I don’t think it’s a good idea because –

Female:    _____ _____ end up seeing every conversation I’ve ever had on Twitter.

Jen:    Yeah, and sometimes you just write, “LOL.”  Who wants to see that on Facebook?

Jessica:    Plus sometimes I tweet about high school or college people.  The other day when I was in the airport and I was, “I think one of my sorority sisters is sitting right next to me but I’m not 100 percent sure and I don’t want to say hi.”  Half of my sorority is on Facebook and I don’t want them to be, “Who was she talking about?”  ‘Cause when my family started going on Twitter I was like, oh, my gosh.  This is my territory.

Female 1:    But I mean I did very recently actually set up a Facebook page for my blog and I syndicate my posts out to there and there’s a whole new sort of community now of people that are following my blog on Facebook that don’t come to it otherwise.  So I guess it depends on what your goals are.  If your goals are to get –

[Crosstalk]

Jessica:    Yeah, applications.  So just turn off the applications.

Female:    _____ _____ _____ where if you choose a selective Twitter service or something –

Female:    Oh, yeah, I’ve seen that.

Female:    And you just put #FB at the very end of your –

Female:    Oh, that’s great.  That’s good.

Female:    – so then you can choose _____ _____ _____.

Jen:    We didn’t get to marketing.

Jessica:    Well, if you want to talk to me about marketing tactics, which is a whole different thing, just find me out, have a drink with me tonight.  That’s why we’re here, right?  So just come up and ask.  I won’t bite.

[Applause]

Female:    Thanks, everybody.

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