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Social Bookmarking: It Never Left, But Boy Howdy, Is It Back!

Social bookmarking — once the realm of Digg, Reddit, and Delicious — seemed to fade away for a little while, kept alive in the background by the various dedicated legions of SubReddits, the chaotiphiles of StumbleUpon, and other niche groups. But Pinterest brought the phenomenon back a year or so ago, and the notion of ‘tools for sharing links to stuff you love with your friends’ has only continued to expand since.

Just in the past six months, a host of innovative new ways to bookmark have evolved, inlcuding:

Pearltrees — a ‘visual bookmarking’ service, PearlTrees allows you to create what amount to mindmaps of related websites, and link to other people’s PearlTrees, allowing you to essentially literally browse the web by subject, moving from one topic to another naturally, the way the human brain intuitively arranges them.

Collectably — allows you to create ‘groups’ and ‘boards’ within the groups, then add whatever webpage you’re on to a specific group and board with three mouse clicks. You can share individual links or boards with others with only a couple of clicks as well.

StyleHive — specifically intended for bookmarking style-related goods, StyleHive is an amazing niche site if you happen to be selling clothing, hair extensions, quirky household goods, or similar items.

RedGage — a fascinating site that pays people to use it. We’re still not certain that this is going to turn out to be a decent business model OR terribly good for marketing purposes, but it certainly stands out among it’s peers.

BuddyMarks — still quite small, BuddyMarks is kind of across between Digg and Groupon insofar as it offers both social bookmarking and social coupon services from the same interface. We’ll see if that’s enough to get it growing in 2013.

There are, of course, hundreds more innovative new social bookmarking sites out there waiting to prove their value both to consumers and to those businesses looking to exploit them for their organic SEO value — and that’s exactly the point. Social bookmarking may have had a bit of a slump, but that’s clearly over – 2013 will be like 2008 all over again.

Blog Posting: Outsource, Insource, or Unsource?

So you just paid your SEO experts to perform some high-level custom blog creation, and now you’re sitting there looking at your newly-minted, empty blog, and it occurs to you: you don’t really have a good plan about who’s going to do your blog posting. Your basic options are:

Outsource
This is what most companies go with, and there’s good reason — a solid ghostwriter can learn your industry, develop a voice, and create content with serious SEO value for a moderate price. They might not whip out serious link-bait (if you want that, you’ll have to pay big bucks for a big name), but they’ll get your ranks up and get some positive comments rolling.

The advantage of outsourcing is that it comes cheap in terms of time and money, and it’s the industry standard, so you’re not going to stand out if you go with a ghostwriter. The disadvantage of outsourcing is that you’re really not going to stand out if you go with a ghostwriter — and quite often, standing out is the goal.

Insource
There’s also a pretty strong argument for getting the best writer in your office to whip up a blog article every week. It’s generally actually more expensive than having an outsourcer do it, because it takes some time and in-house people charge by the hour instead of by the word — but on the other hand, an in-house writer knows a lot more about what’s actually going on in your industry and in your company.

Unsource
Of course, if you have the ability to put words on paper in a coherent manner, there’s a couple of very good reasons to do it yourself. After all, you’re the boss — no one knows your business like you do, and you can be certain that if you’re the one writing the blog, you’re going to put out the kind of content that you want to see associated with your business.

Of course, you have to be willing to put yourself out there and take ownership of what you wrote (and how you reply to any flak you get for what you did write). If you’re not comfortable in that kind of position, unsourcing may not be the option for you.

Stay in The Right Direction with Pay Per Click

Out of order, flawed or incorrect data while optimizing your PPC campaign will get you exactly where you DO NOT want to be!

Anywhere from natural disasters to technical glitches can create Irregular performance data. Running a PPC campaign, making sure you avoid any disruption to your tracking and performance is highly important.

It may not be simple identifying any abnormal performance changes, but the easiest way to spot an issue is through being website-related. For example, going from being OK to being way off is a definite indication that there is a problem. In some cases, traffic and conversion rates will drop to zero.

Unreliable or “bad” data can appear within your campaign in numerous ways which relates to the performance statistics that may create misguidance towards your optimization. These statistics may create circumstances where a delay is held on your PPC account. The biggest threat of “abnormal data” is guiding your working party in the opposite direction you don’t want to be while optimizing your account.

Setting up automated alerts helps monitor performance trends to track down drastic issues or changes in your campaign. Google Analytics or AdWords provides assistance in setting up alerts. In order to compare time frames or find unexpected and sudden shifts setting up alerts are the way to go. Keep in mind that alerts can focus on weekends and others can compare weekends. The importance to keep alerts on weekends is because transactions may normally sink considerably on Saturday than when weighed against to Friday. A beneficial alert is to be triggered when revenue drops by more than 40 percent.

Targeted Email Marketing Can Do A Lot More Than Just Market

It’s right there in the name: targeted email marketing is pretty obviously about marketing, right? The whole point is to send your audience emails that encourage them to buy things so that you can make money…right?

Well, sure. Everyone wants to have money. But thinking of targeted email marketing as a source of nothing other than cash in your pocket is dramatically undervaluing this incredible tool. Really, when you have a list of people that regularly reads your emails, you don’t just have a marketing tool — you have a podium, and an audience.

We’re not telling you to go out and start spouting your political ideals or religious views to people on your email marketing list — that’s economic suicide. But there are a lot of things that your audience could be doing to help you other than buying your stuff, and there’s no particular reason not to ask them to do those things. What if your target market was out there:

Doing social bookmarking of your best content on sites like Pinterest, Reddit, and Google+? Not only does that activity automatically share itself with their friends and followers, but if a particular bookmark gets enough upvotes, you could end up with a traffic surge because you showed up on the front page of some list or other.

Posting testimonials and stories related to your product or service on Facebook, Twitter, or even their personal blogs? Every instance is another backlink to your landing page, making it the best kind of SEO: the free kind.

Affiliate-selling your products for a cut of the commission? Not every product can be set up to take advantage of that kind of thing, but if you can manage to win a few affiliate marketers by putting the offer out to your list, it’s pure profit on your end.

There are always ways that you can profit from someone’s actions rather than from their credit card numbers — and if you’re using targeted email marketing, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. Just be creative and put the offers out there!