Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Guest Blog by Lynne Cockrum-Murphy: Loving Animals Hurts

Amazon No. 1 Bestselling Author Lynne Cockrum-Murphy joined the first group of social entrepreneurs who learned how to play the Game of Social Media at www.whatissocialmediatoday.com. She learned about blogging as a way to establish her brand identity. Find out more about her books and her healing work through her blog.

Loving animals hurts. The other day when I saw a clip on the computer of a guy walking up to a kangaroo and slugging it in the face –I had no idea the context. I actually hurt inside and made me sad too. I wanted to contact who was behind it and let them know my thoughts… When I saw some stupid animal trick on the news, I jumped up and called them right away and told them that cruelty to animals for the sake of a laugh is pathetic and not newsworthy. The most recent atrocity was seeing a hunter with a dead giraffe and learning people hunt polar bears. What is wrong with these people? Why the need for domination and false bravado? Why would anyone be proud of shooting an animal from a helicopter?

I love to think people are like me and rescue dogs and cats, pray for horses, and don’t eat animals. There are people who care deeply about animals. You find them everywhere, the internet, animal planet, the neighborhood, in veterinarian’s offices and amongst my friends.

Let me clarify, so this doesn’t remain just a rant about animal abuse I have felt this way about animals since I was a child. I had cats and dogs as pets of course. But when my step dad asked if I wanted to go rabbit hunting (target practice was something everyone in my family did in the Nevada desert). I said sure, I wanted to go and then checked to see if we’d take the rabbits to the vet afterwards. I was in elementary school and not too clear on what rabbit hunting was and what guns did. My parents said never mind, we’ll skip the rabbit hunting. I knew something had just transpired between them – you know when your parents whisper and smile that it’s about you. It was one of the moments that stayed with me.

Today we have more cats than usual. We’re always happy to have one or two. But in this holiday season we ended up with six which is a lot to take care of. One of the strays we feed had 4 kittens in the neighbor’s yard. She apparently is afraid of cats so as soon as they were big enough we brought them into our house and have been gradually introducing them to our two little buddies: Lucky who has lived with us for at least 4 years and Coco who joined us 6 months ago.

Just an aside, it has always been odd to me that people say they have a rescue dog because all the pets I ever had were from the “pound” or the street or from someone looking for a home for the animal. All were “rescued”. To me that is normal. I’ve never used the term these are my “rescue cats”. Aren’t they all being rescued from the streets or death when we invite them into our homes?

On top of all that anguish, how can people buy animals not to mention that people raise animals for money! Who purchases life? Each animal belongs to itself. We cannot own them. We are caretakers.

So now we have 6 house cats and 2 strays that visit regularly for meals. We just got the 4 kittens fixed. Fortunately these 4 are so ridiculously cute that we will most likely keep them all. There’s a 10 to 20 year commitment. What else can we do? That’s a rhetorical question. There are too many unwanted animals sitting in shelters already. We won’t contribute to the problem.

People who make capture, spay/neuter, release programs possible are #inspiring. They helped us once before by loaning us a specialized cage. We captured the stray we called Chocolate who after that lived a fabulous 5 years with us until his death from FHIV. We were able to feed, love, and nurture him for years as we domesticated him. He grew big and healthy and dominated the household a bit as he ran, jumped on the bed and flopped down next to us expecting to be petted and scratched. We indulged him.

Isn’t that was having pets is all about? Reciprocity. They get so much from us and we get so much from them too. Animals in the wild may not be cute and cuddly yet they deserve respect because they are life. All life is worthy of respect. All life is worthy of respect. Black lives, blue lives, animal lives!

A few resources:




“Trap-Neuter-Return Ordinances and Policies in the United States: The Future of Animal Control” – Alley Cat Allies January 2013 legal brief


The post Guest Blog by Lynne Cockrum-Murphy: Loving Animals Hurts appeared first on What is Social Media Today.

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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

2 Great Ways to Build Your Brand Identity on LinkedIn

Unless you are an Arctic explorer, rattlesnake handler or some other exotic professional, more than likely you face a lot of competition in your business.

You can build your brand identity through LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with more than 467 million members in 200 countries.

Your brand identity helps separate you from your competition and gives people good reasons to hire you or buy your products, books or services.

Building your brand is one of the key benefits of social media today.

Here are 2 great ways to build your brand identity through LinkedIn:

  1. Publish your blog on LinkedIn. Even if you have managed to build a rather large readership for your website, LinkedIn will provide an even bigger audience for your articles. On your LinkedIn profile, you will find a place to post your articles. When you publish on your website – and here at www.whatissocialmediatoday.com we recommend you blog at least once a week to build your brand identity – copy and paste your article over onto your LinkedIn profile. Experts believe that publishing on LinkedIn is one of the most effective ways to generate more traffic from social media. Keep your LinkedIn articles to no more than 1,000 words. Use a photo that helps tell your story. Include a call to action at the end of your article that attracts new customers to your business, products books and services.
  2. Create a side presentation to share useful information, establish yourself as an expert and publish on Slideshare.net, the slide sharing feature of LinkedIn. Use applications such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Keynote for Apple products to create a slide show. Be sure to use visual images to tell your story. Include your website address and a call to action. Why bother? Because 70 million professionals use  Slideshare.net to educate themselves on all kinds of topics. Once again, you establish yourself as an expert by sharing your knowledge and teaching what you know. Here’s a simple example of a slide show I created. Not only did I share succinct and useful information, I also shared butterfly and orchid photos that have become a recognizable and integral aspect of my personal brand.

Many entrepreneurs who are not looking for a job overlook the social media benefits of LinkedIn.

Even if you don’t need to use LinkedIn as an online resume to find yourself a new position, you can use this platform to establish yourself as an authority in your field.

There are 128 million LinkedIn members in the U.S. and 70 percent of its members are outside the U.S.

By sharing your articles and slide shows on LinkedIn, you can establish yourself as a worldwide expert in your field.

When you establish your profile, be sure to add a good headshot as a good professional photo makes you 14 times more likely to be found.

Want to learn more about how you can Win the Game of Social Media?

Putting all this together takes time and is part of creating a successful social media strategy.

Join Catherine Carrigan and Ramajon Cogan at www.whatissocialmediatoday.com and we will show you how! Call Catherine Carrigan today at 678-612-8816 or email catherine@catherinecarrigan.com or contact Ramajon Cogan at (928) 821-4553 or email wheresramajon@gmail.com.


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source http://whatissocialmediatoday.com/2-great-ways-build-brand-identity-linkedin/

Saturday, 10 December 2016

11 Ways To Get People To Read Your Blog

If a blog falls in the forest and nobody hears it, what good does it do in terms of marketing?
None at all, of course!

“Before you create any more ‘great content,’ figure out how you are going to market it first.” – Joe Pulizzi and New Barrett authors of Get Content Get Customers

You think, you write, you agonize over your keywords and finally one day you publish a blog.

You may think you have accomplished something in terms of content marketing and attracting new customers to your business, books, products or services but not necessarily.

Trouble is, if you then do not market your blog the likelihood of anybody reading your blog – unless you are Justin Bieber or Donald Trump – is slim to none.

Writing your blog is just the first step to creating a worldwide audience.

Here are 11 simple steps you can take to get people to read your blog:

  1. Spread your blog to your social media channels through a dashboard like Hootsuite. “Content is fire, social media is gasoline,” says Jay Baer. For about $10 a month, you can get a basic subscription to HootsuiteThis social media dashboard allows you to schedule your social media content. Write 8 to 10 different 140-character headlines with the same link to the blog you just wrote. Attach a photo or series of photos to these social media messages. Send the messages out on an ongoing basis to let people know you have just published.
  2. Set up a Jetpack plugin on your WordPress site so that when you hit the Publish button, your blog gets immediately spread to all your social media channels. This saves you time so that you do not have to post your blog manually on all your social media sites.
  3. Share your blog throughout all your relevant Facebook groups. Do a search on Facebook of all your relevant keywords and join groups. Once you have published, go through the list of all your Facebook groups and share the link to your blog on all the Facebook groups where you think your fellow group members would benefit from your message.
  4. Post your blog on your Google+ communities. Go through your list of Google+ communities and share the link. Remember that Google is the largest search engine in the world and the more buzz you can create in Google+ the more likely your blog will show up higher in the search engines.
  5. Post the full blog on your LinkedIn site. Many people are not aware that you can add blog posts to your LinkedIn profile. In addition to being able to publish your blog on LinkedIn through your Jetpack plugin on your WordPress site, you can also copy and paste your blog in full onto LinkedIn. Because LinkedIn has 467 million members  – probably way more than read your blog on your website every month – you are more likely to have your blog read on LinkedIn and even to show up later on the search engines there at a later date than your actual website.
  6. If you are a published author, set up a Goodreads author profile and publish your blog there in full. One of the many benefits of being a published author is that you can set up a Goodreads author account. Not only can you then market your books for free, you can also market your blog. While you can set up an RSS feed that publishes your blog automatically from your website, I generally publish directly because that way I can add photographs that increase reader attention. Goodreads has 55 million members – once again probably more people than those who go directly to your website.
  7. Create a one to three minute video on Youtube relevant to the subject matter you’re writing about and embed the Youtube video in your blog. Because Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world after Google, you will want to harness the power of video to attract readers. Either before or after you write your message, use your smart phone or a video recording service such as Zoom.us to create a short video that will further illustrate what you’re talking about in your blog. Once you publish your video to Youtube, embed the video in your blog.
  8. Include social media share buttons on your website so that your raving fans can share your content to their social media channels. Make it easy for people to share your great blogs by including these buttons in easy-to-see locations on your website.
  9. Use the Pinterest button on your website to pin your blog to your Pinterest account. Because Pinterest has 100 million active users, you can attract readers to your blog by pinning your content to relevant boards on your Pinterest site.
  10. Create an email newsletter with links to your blogs. On your website create a place for people to sign up for your newsletter. This allows you to collect the email addresses of your raving fans. Send out a newsletter to your fans on a monthly basis that includes links to your blogs. Don’t give your fans the whole blog – include great art and the first few lines with a link so that they have to go to your actual website to read the full article. That way you draw people in to read not just the blog itself but to your home website where they can find out more about your products, books and services.
  11. Cross blog with people in your field. Create win-win relationships with people in your field by cross blogging. I publish one article for every article of mine that gets published on a friend’s website. Be sure to change your article – don’t just copy and paste it. Include a different headline, a new first paragraph or make other small changes so that the search engines count the article on your friend’s website as new content. Be sure to ask your friend to include links back to your website so that people who read your content and like it get drawn back to your website. Return the favor when you publish your friend’s article.

Remember that writing your blog is just the first step.

Marketing your blog will make all the difference in the world to draw readers to your website and paying customers to your business, products, books and services.

Want to learn more about how you can Win the Game of Social Media?

Putting all this together takes time and is part of creating a successful social media strategy.

Join Catherine Carrigan and Ramajon Cogan at www.whatissocialmediatoday.com and we will show you how! Call Catherine Carrigan today at 678-612-8816 or email catherine@catherinecarrigan.com or contact Ramajon Cogan at (928) 821-4553 or email wheresramajon@gmail.com.

The post 11 Ways To Get People To Read Your Blog appeared first on What is Social Media Today.

source http://whatissocialmediatoday.com/11-ways-get-people-read-blog/

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Top 10 Blog Tips From A Social Media Specialist

As a social media specialist, you must create quality content that will build a tribe of raving fans that will keep your business profitable both now and for years to come.

Here are the top 10 tips you as a social media specialist can take to insure the success of your blog:

  1. Begin with your keywords. If you’ve been following Ramajon Cogan and Catherine Carrigan of www.whatissocialmediatoday.com, you’ve learned that the entire success of your social media strategy rests on how successful you are at researching and employing your keywords. These are the words and phrases people use to find you on the vast world wide web. Once you do the research, memorize your keywords. Use a mind map to brain storm articles based on your keyword. Then slowly but surely begin to drip out content based on these keywords.
  2. Put your keyword in your headline. 
  3. Analyze your headline. Once you know the keyword you’re planning on using in your article, the importance of writing a killer headline can not be overstated. You can analyze your headline on this website. Realize you have 15 seconds to grab a person’s attention once they go to your website. In fact, 55 percent of readers spent less than 15 seconds. The most important part of your blog is in fact your headline, so spend time making it work.
  4. Include your keyword in your first paragraph.
  5. Include art. Colored visuals increase your chance of a person reading your content by 80 percent. Because you may have to pay to use images captured from the web, you may be better off using your smart phone to take photographs or videos telling the story of your business, products and services.
  6. Evoke emotion. The more your writing evokes positive emotion in your reader, the more likely your readers will be to share your content. The top four emotions to generate include 1. Awe 2. Laughter 3. Amusement 4. Joy.
  7. Write at least 500 words for a basic blog, 2,300 if you want Google to consider you an expert on that topic or 3,000 to 10,000 words if you want your article to be shared most often. Even though the average attention span of 9 seconds is now shorter than that of a goldfish, you need to write at least 500 words because Google considers 200 word blog posts to be thin content. According to our search engine optimization guru Scott D. Smith, Google will consider you an expert when you write articles 2,300 to 2,500 words long. Research shows that blogs that take about 7 minutes to read capture the most total reading time on average.
  8. Consider writing your blogs as a list. Because people don’t so much read on the internet as scan, lists become a highly effective way of writing your content. In fact, when researchers look at what causes blogs to go viral in the social media, list posts come in second after infographics. Other ways for you as a social media specialist to blog successfully include writing what blogs, why blogs, how to blogs as well as videos.
  9. Use Google Analytics to determine the topics readers really want to hear from you about. You already have a built-in generator of prime research information about your website – Google Analytics. Connect your website to Google Analytics. Then go to Behavior. Then click on Overview. You will find a list of your most-read articles. Use this list to discover what people really want from you. Create more content based on these topics.
  10. Blog at least once a week. Our search engine optimization guru Scott D. Smith says you can get 80 percent of the benefit from blogging by posting once a week. However, realize that companies that post 16+ times per month get 350 percent more traffic than those that only post 0 to 4 times per month. To avoid burnout, create a blogging schedule you can live with. Once your website has been around for awhile, you will benefit from the body of work you created. Some experts find that 90 percent of their leads come from old blog posts. Realize that as a social media specialist that when you create content, your blog posts will have an average lifespan of 2 to 3 years.

Want to learn more about how you can Win the Game of Social Media?

Putting all this together takes time and is part of creating a successful social media strategy.

Join Catherine Carrigan and Ramajon Cogan at www.whatissocialmediatoday.com and we will show you how! Call Catherine Carrigan today at 678-612-8816 or email catherine@catherinecarrigan.com or contact Ramajon Cogan at (928) 821-4553 or email wheresramajon@gmail.com.

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