Category Archives: Online reputation Management

How to grow your blog like a Fortune 500 company

How to grow your blog like a Fortune 500 company

If there’s one exercise that continually causes my blog to grow, it’s conducting a quarterly review. If you want your blog to turn into a business you have to treat it accordingly. Fortune 500 companies do quarterly reports, so why not model some of their best practices?

Why you should do this

As bloggers we’re often caught up in the day-to-day activities of writing posts, commenting on blogs, and interacting with people across various social media channels. It can feel like we’re not accomplishing much. We have a tendency to focus on how far we have to go rather than looking back at just how far we’ve come.

The process of conducting a quarterly review will motivate you to keep charging forward because you’ll get a clear look at how much you’ve accomplished. It will also give you insights into what worked, what didn’t, and what you can do differently.

The review process

Conducting a review is something you should expect to spend a few solid hours on if you want to get the most value possible from it. The review can be broken up into three main categories: traffic + subscribers, revenue, and projects.

Traffic + subscribers

Traffic is the biggest concern of many early-stage bloggers, and you should remember that not all traffic is created equal and that quality always trumps quantity. That said, reviewing your traffic on a quarterly basis can give you some deep insights into things you can do differently to increase it.

Here are three things to watch when reviewing your traffic and subscribers:

1. Compare to the previous quarter.

Perhaps the most important thing to consider when it comes to traffic is that you are showing a pattern of growth. If you do a comparison and your traffic has declined, then you’ll need to think about what might be the cause:

• Are you posting enough?
• Are you building the right relationships?
• Is your content worth sharing?
• Do you need to write more guest posts?

There are a number of factors that could cause your traffic to decline or increase. Choose one area to improve and stick to it over the course of the next quarter.

2. Look at referral traffic.

Take a look at where your referral traffic is coming from. You’ll notice that you get much more traffic when you guest post on certain blogs. If that’s the case, reach out to the author of the blog and ask if you can be a guest contributor again. Connect with the readers of that blog by visiting theirs.

3. Look at subscribers.

After two years of blogging, all I can say is that your email list is gold. Every successful blogger will tell you “the money is in the list.” While RSS subscribers are nice and bring people back to your blog, I’d recommend shifting your entire focus to your email list.

Many of us neglect our lists because we’re writing so much content for our own blogs. While the numbers are important, what you need to concern yourself with most is a pattern of growth. If you’re not seeing growth, then you’ll want to make some adjustments. Below I’ve suggested a few ideas to improve your email list:

• One simple thing that will help you to improve your newsletter is repurposing content from your archives. Most blog archives are sitting around collecting dust. You can take five to six of your best blog posts and make them the content of your auto responder sequence.
• Interview somebody well known in your niche and give away the interview as a bonus for signing up for your newsletter.
• Create a free e-book. But make sure it is just as good as something people would pay for. If the things you provide for free are of no value then it’s unlikely that anybody will buy from you.


I usually have two to three project goals every quarter. Here are some sample projects that you could work on over the course of any quarter:

• A guest post campaign;
• A free e-book or manifesto;
• A course or product.

In the review process you want to make sure that you have made some progress on at least one of your projects. If you’ve made no progress on any of your projects from the previous quarter, you might want to consider taking some of them off your list.


The final thing that I tend to review every quarter is the revenue that I’ve generated. The best way to do this is to break up the revenue by categories. For example, you may generate revenue in the following ways:

• Consulting;
• Products;
• Advertising Revenue.

It’s important to break this up into categories so you can get a sense of which efforts are giving you your highest return on investment. This helps you to prioritize your revenue generating efforts.

Setting up your quarterly marketing plan and goals

Keep in mind to not have too many goals. This might seem counterintuitive, but the more goals you set the fewer you seem to accomplish. The list will seem so daunting that you’ll fail to take action towards the goals on the list.

That’s why I recommend you set fewer goals. If you happened to get those goals done you can always add more to the list later in the quarter. Establish one or two goals in each area.

Traffic + Subscriber goals

Traffic and subscriber goals are interesting because the end result is not completely in your control. All you can do is take certain actions to move in the direction of your goal. That being said, I think it can be quite valuable to set a traffic and subscriber goal since it’s keeps you focused on how to grow your audience.

For example, you could set a goal of reaching 1,000 total subscribers by the next quarter, if you are at 500 now. The real value is not reaching the number itself, but learning how to reach it. After you’ve done it once, you can repeat the process and grow by 1,000 subscribers. Just have a target to aim for over the course of a quarter.

Project goals

I recommend that you make it a goal to complete at least one project every quarter. Rather than set a number of different project goals and scatter your effort, focus on one and make it your mission to finish it. If you want to write an e-book or launch a product then make that your project for the quarter.

As I said before, you can always add more projects when you complete one. In fact, if you have fewer things on your list and complete them you’ll be motivated to keep moving forward.

Revenue Goals

When you set a revenue goal, set something that you think is achievable. Chances are that if you are a beginning blogger you are not going to make a million dollars by the end of the quarter. Setting that kind of goal and not meeting it will only frustrate you.

Once you start with a number in mind, you’ll be able to start brainstorming the different ways that you’ll hit your revenue goal. It could be a combination of the following:

• Product Sales
• Consulting
• Speaking
• Advertising Revenue

If you have an opportunity to capitalize on low-hanging fruit, then do it. Even if it is not a lot of money, it will give you the confidence to keep going.

Deviate from your plan (when it makes sense)

One final caveat I’d like to add is that you shouldn’t be afraid to deviate from your plan. Opportunities will arise, your business will go through changes, and certain actions will make more sense than the ones you originally planned at the beginning of the quarter.

If you’re too stubborn about your goals, you might miss out on fantastic opportunities. For example, if somebody comes to you and asks you to partner with them on a product launch, be open to that because it could lead to many other things in the future.

The quarterly review might be a time consuming process, but it’s a very worthwhile one. It will give you a tremendous amount of insight into the growth of your blog and if you act on those insights your blog will continually grow.

Below you’ll find links to sample monthly/quarterly reviews from my blog and two others that I think do a fantastic job of breaking down everything they’re up to.

The Smart Passive Income Monthly Reports
Think Traffic Monthly Reports
The Skool of Life Quarterly Marketing Plan Q2 Review

How do you manage the long-term goals of your blog?

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4 Common Copywriting Mistakes Everyone Makes

I don’t care who you are; everyone makes mistakes in writing copy. Even the professionals who have to look at the copy with a jaundiced eye and tweak things. This is why we have drafts: because perfection seldom happens the first time around.

While the list of common copywriting mistakes could probably fill a small eBook, some are more common than most – like the four below: Continue reading

Online Reputation Management: How to Handle Negative Publicity

Ideally, with every project you take on and every relationship you form, you will be working toward building a professional reputation. You can enhance the effectiveness of a positive reputation by:

  • Doing great work
  • Being customer service oriented
  • Making yourself approachable
  • Collaborating with others in your industry
  • Forming personal relationships

But even if you do everything right, there may come a time when you face negative publicity. Harmful feedback can happen for many reasons – a misunderstanding, a wrong doing on your part, varying points of view, or any number of other reasons that you may not understand fully.

How you react to negative feedback is dependent on the type of comment, who said it, what forum it was said in, and the potential it has to damage your reputation. But there are general some ways to gauge the risk of negative publicity and determine how best to handle it.

Think It Through

We’re human, so our initial reaction to a negative comment is usually anger, belligerence, and/or defensiveness. The worst thing you can do is react quickly without thinking the situation through because you may only make the situation worse. Put yourself in the other person’s position, and be honest with yourself. Take a deep breath and ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the comment true?
  • Can I see how this person could view my actions this way?
  • Did I do something that was misunderstood or misconstrued?
  • Am I in the wrong?

Many times, you probably didn’t see the negative feedback coming, so you have surprise working against you. By taking the time to be honest with yourself about the situation, you can avoid doing further damage. You may even want to ask a trusted friend or colleague for their take on the situation to help you get perspective.

Respond or Not?

Not every negative comment deserves a response. In fact, you may decide not to respond because you feel the situation is best simply ignored. If the impact is minimal, don’t fuel the fire by pleading your case when it’s not necessary.

In some cases, you may want to go to the source and try to work it out offline. A personal conversation may uncover information you would not have otherwise known. If you were in the wrong, you can rectify the situation, and ask the author to publicly retract their comment or provide further information that defrays some of the impact. And you never know, this unfortunate situation may be the catalyst for a new relationship with a lot of potential.

You can also respond by posting a public comment or publishing an acknowledgment letter on your own website or blog addressing the situation and providing your own perspective. However, be sure not to be overly defensive or personally attack the other party; that will only make you look unprofessional.

Use It To Your Advantage

The saying, “All publicity is good publicity,” may not be entirely accurate, but you can certainly turn some negative situations into positive events. Negative publicity can give you the opportunity to right a wrong; it can provide a platform for you to address an issue; and it can make you better at what you do.

Keep in mind that whatever method you choose to handle the situation, you cannot change the actions of others. Handle the situation as you think is best, but don’t be pulled off-track by the negativity of others.

Have you ever dealt with negative publicity? How did you handle the situation?


Online Reputation Management: 16 Free Tools

In the first part of this series, the author provided an overview of Online Reputation Management (ORM) and why it’s an important activity to adopt in your business and professional life. This post will outline some of the free tools available for monitoring your online reputation.

Blog Monitoring

1. BackType Blog Comments Monitoring – This tool indexes conversations from blogs, social networks and other social media. It also has an alert function that e-mails updates whenever a search term is mentioned in a comment.

2. BlogPulse – BlogPulse is a blog search engine with several complementary tools such as Trend Search and Conversion Tracker that analyzes the data it collects.

3. Google Blog Search – This is a Google beta search engine for blogs.

4. Technorati – Technorati is the leading blog search engine indexing millions of blog posts in real time. It also tracks the authority, influence and popularity of blogs.

Twitter Monitoring

5. Monitter – A real-time Twitter monitor for up to three keywords at a time.

6. TweetBeep – This tool provides hourly Twitter alerts sent via e-mail. You can specify keywords, people and links to track.

7. Tweet Later – TweetLater has a number of features for Twitter users, and it also monitors Twitter and e-mails you a digest of the tweets that contain your specified keywords. You can also use this to track your @replies.

8. Twitter Search – Twitter Search was formally Summize. It searches all Twitter activity for keywords, links or user activity in real time.

Link Monitoring

9. BackTweets – This is a service by BackType that provides an engine to search for specific links mentioned on Twitter.

10. WhoLinksToMe – A link search tool that tracks backlinks and makes them easily sortable by anchor text, origination, and by the target URL with enhanced reporting capability. You can also import links from Google Webmaster Tools for enhanced analysis.

Other Tools

11. Google Alerts – Your keyword search results are sent via e-mail for keyword mentions in news, web, blogs, video and groups categories.

12. BoardTracker – This tool searches discussion boards and forum threads for your specified keywords. You can also sign up for e-mail alerts.

13. MonitorThis – MonitorThis is a search aggregator for up to 26 search engine feeds.

14. Naymz – A social network focused on reputation, personal branding, and identity verification. Basic version is free.

15. Purewire Trust – An online portal that helps people verify reputation information about themselves and those with whom they interact online. You can search by e-mail address, URL or web application.

16. Yasni – This is a search engine dedicated to finding people on the web through publicly available information, including images, videos, social networking profiles and posts.

With the number of tools available, you will probably need to do some research to determine which services fulfill your needs. Usually a mix of a few of these free services will cover your bases, but you will need time to do the manual work necessary for the tools that are not automated.

If you prefer to have more of the work done for you, there are also a number of paid tools available to monitor your online reputation:

Do you use any of these tools? Which would you recommend?


Online Reputation Management: The Basics

All professionals, especially those who conduct business online, can be subject to bad publicity. All it takes is one negative comment on a blog or website with the right (or wrong) mix of traffic to drive your reputation into the ditch. If you haven’t heard of or are not doing Online Reputation Management (ORM), here are the basics and why this is something you need to start doing now.

What It Is… Continue reading