Rampin' it up! Zoe's Race raises funds to help people eliminate obstacles.

I think about how to inspire my clients all the time, especially as I listen to public radio in the car. The other morning I was completely inspired by a story on VPR about Zoe’s Race.

I recognized the voice of the interviewee: Erika Nestor. She’s a powerhouse and a mom and a runner. Her daughter, Zoe, had a terrible accident 6 years ago that confined her to a wheelchair. Zoe was a little girl who could be easily lifted and carried as necessary. But time happens and she grew.

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Why Nice People Have the Best Websites

A Daylight Websites Post in Internet Business, by C. Jane Taylor

Why do nice people have the best websites? Anger and hostility kill creativity.

A recent exchange with an impatient, overbearing, controlling client reminded me why nice people have the best websites.

During the last five years I did SEO and content development for Union Street Media, a Vermont web developer specializing in real estate websites, and I admit to having favorites. Off the top of my head, I can think of three clients I’d like to have over for dinner: Chip, Vicki and Steve. They are all Realtors and they are all very nice people.

A little encouragement goes a long way...

I did an excellent job of SEO, content development, blog writing and coaching on each of these client real estate websites (North Carolina, Vermont, and New Hampshire respectively). I found great joy in the work I did for them.

The fact remains that nice people are just easier to work with. And maybe it’s unprofessional (even Pollyannaish) of me, but I must confess, I did a slightly better job for them than I did for the mean clients I worked with. It makes sense: terrific people inspire terrific outcomes.

I recently met and am collaborating with Mike McCarney at Legitify and Keri Piatek Crafts at Place Creative. Mike and Keri are both terrific people. They inspire me to do a great job even for my angry, tyrannical client.

This is turning into my dream job.


Afraid of spiders? Afraid of Social Media?

I am constantly thinking of ways to inspire my clients to embrace social media. Many clients are reluctant. About half of my clients are over 40, some of them are on board with social media; some of them cower in fear.

I recently did an SEO training with Vermont Author, Seth Steinzor, who is on my side of 40. He gets it. His latest book, To Join the Lost, is a modern interpretation of Dante’s Inferno, written in the 1300s. Seth gets it. As a writer, he understands connecting with his audience. He is also willing to work to expand this audience.

But I have worked with all kinds of website owners, from Realtors to comedians to environmentalists, who initially do not want to participate in the online conversation. A lack of understanding or willingness to accept the power of social media may be part of their reluctance. But I know from personal experience that they might be stymied by fear. Fear of pressing the wrong button at the wrong time, fear of sending the wrong message, wasting time, appearing  foolish, fear of the void, etc.

But the Dalai Lama tweets, it cannot be all that bad.

Breakthrough with Tony Robbins

A great NPR program called The Moth Radio Hour inspired me the other night to take Twitter more seriously. The Moth presents stories told live without notes and carries with it a refreshing immediacy – just like Twitter. The phrase that got me was “When you move forward, you’ll intuitively be able to handle what used to baffle you.” from Dan Kennedy’s ‘And How Does That Make you Feel’. Immediately after the program, I took computer in lap and Tweeted, after almost a year of silence.

I found another instructive inspiration in yoga class. My teacher quoted one of my favorite sections of the the Bhagavad Gita: “So with the sword of wisdom, sever the doubts in your heart. Arise, O best of men, take your stand. Be a warrior.” This quote is about Svadharma, meaning our personal path, duty, calling, or place. In taking this yoga message off the mat and into social media, I figure if you really are doing your life’s work, you should be able to share it with others. The internet makes this easy.

And finally Tony Robbins. Tonight is the television debut of his new series “Breakthrough”. I can only imagine as I have not followed Tony Robbins and I do not have a TV. In the trailer, he promises to “make you face things you don’t want to face and do things you don’t want to do” in order to become more successful.

So you don’t have to take it from me…

Two types of blog posts and the Urgency of Now

A Daylight Websites Post in Blogging, by C. Jane Taylor
The King

We can all take marketing lessons from the Old Spice guy for years to come, but an Elvis sighting, now that's an urgent, bloggable matter. By the way, on the way to work this morning I saw him.. No kidding!

I learned a valuable blogging lesson yesterday. It might seem obvious, but here goes: topical blogs must be posted immediately, if not sooner.

There are two types of blog posts: timely and timeless. You should publish both kinds.

Here’s how:

1. Write about timely stuff as it occurs. Check your spelling, hit publish. As my good friend Pilcher says, “The ‘ship-it’ light is on.” These sensational kinds of posts may just widen your audience and bring in new visitors. They may not win you the Pulitzer Prize for journalism.

2. Keep an on-going library of drafts of timeless wonders in your blog. These posts should cut through the noise of the urgency of now and educate your audience for the long haul. Polish these timeless classics to a high gloss (as your readers will return to them again and again) and publish them when the “ship-it” light is off.

Here’s why:

We can all take marketing lessons from the Old Spice man for years to come, we may even see these lessons in college curricula, but the time to introduce the notion of learning from a ridiculously good look towel-clad man is as it happens, in the moment.

Once it hits NPR, it’s too late. Even as I watched his freshly published YouTube responses to a day of Tweets, I knew I had to blog about the Old Spice Man, but I had urgent client work. So my great smelling timing was off this week.

Your timeless classic posts, on the other hand, should showcase your depth of knowledge on your subject matter. Topics like how caffeine stimulates the blogosphere are classic; topics like how Google’s new index Caffeine should inform your SEO strategy are timely.

And, as always, keep it short and sweet. Have a great day.

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Three things the Old Spice Man can teach you about Social Media

A Daylight Websites Post in Social Media, by C. Jane Taylor
The Old Spice Man

The Old Spice Man advises the president, why not your online campaign?

Can an ridiculously handsome, great smelling manly man dressed in only a towel carry your online presence to new heights on his back as he ascends Mount Olympus in his bare feet while being chased by rabid Snow Leopards during a lunar eclipse? Of course he can!

Bring some fun to your brandRecently the Old Spice Man answered every tweet he received in a single a day. The campaign was brilliant, personal, funny and instantly viral. It revitalized an age-old brand with humor targeted to a lady-scented-body-wash-smelling audience.

Here’s the Old Spice take away for your business online:

1. Embrace your audience where they live. Your audience may not be teen and twenty-something young men seeking adventure or even towel-clad gentlemen seeking the meaningful relationships that result from the use of better smelling aftershave products. But you know your audience. Find it online and engage it there.

2. Embrace Social Media – Even if your audience is older and perhaps already incredibly manly smelling, your audience uses Social Media in some form. Facebook is no longer the realm of pimply youngsters; blogs are no longer the secret soap boxes of lady-scented, excessively literate college students and journalists in their odiferous eau-de-toilets. Social Media is an essential element of the online marketplace. The Old Spice marketing team recognizes this.  You should, too.

3. Engage your audience appropriately – Social media is your chance to engage your audience in a casual, friendly and appropriate way. Meet your audience on its own terms. Make your content interesting enough or outrageous enough that your visitors are going to want to share it with their friends (make it easy for them to do so). Old Spice used humor strategically to attract a new generation to an old brand. Grandsons are now using the same cologne their grandfathers once used and everyone smells better online.

Do you like the smell of adventure? Use social media appropriately and you can swan dive into the best brand recognition you have ever known.

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We don't need no stinkin' badges

Blog training? We don't need no stinkin' blog training... thank you, Mel Brooks.

Daylight recently converted a client “blog” to WordPress. We brought forward more than 300 posts, spanning more than 3 years of social networking online. The client, whose name has been changed to protect the innocent, has been blogging since Al Gore invented the internet.

The client has gained an excellent reputation based on the juicy, insightful content of his posts. But check out some of his post titles:

“Hang in there everyone, improvements are coming!”
“Possible new development?”
“Quick run out and grab the latest newspaper!”

This blogger has his finger on the pulse of a major American metropolitan city. He is smart and funny and a good writer. But without proper blog optimization, only those who already know him will ever read him.

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Google Caffeine is good for you. How do you take your Google?

A Daylight Websites Post in SEO, by C. Jane Taylor

How do you like your Google Caffeine ?

I have always contended that blogging and coffee are good community builders. With the recent launch of Google Caffeine, Google just turned my coffee into a Macchiato.

Because it works in real-time, Google Caffeine will favor sites that add new, fresh and index-able content regularly. This is just our cup of tea at Daylight Websites. We love fresh, broad, diverse, deep content and now Google is making it possible for that very content to be searched (and found) at lightning speeds.

As a writer and blogger, this is music to my ears because it means that content is still king. At Daylight we coach clients on good blogging practices and content creation to harness this exciting development.

Here’s the word from the man behind the curtain (big G):

With Caffeine, we analyze the web in small portions and update our search index on a continuous basis, globally. As we find new pages, or new information on existing pages, we can add these straight to the index. That means you can find fresher information than ever before — no matter when or where it was published.

This is Google's image of Caffeine

– from the Official Google blog

With these changes, deep sites will prevail and content will continue to rule the kingdom. As these changes will certainly affect SERPs going forward (that’s Search Engine Results Page – the results from a Search), now more than ever your site must contain unique, well-written, interesting content for more than just your visitors.

Content is still king. Long live the king!

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Men are from Mars; Women are from Facebook?

A Daylight Websites Post in Facebook, by C. Jane Taylor

Hubspot gives us the skinny on the pink and the blue on Facebook

Hubspot, my favorite internet marketing blog just published some great Infographics. On average, men and women have the same number of friends on Facebook: 130. But women have 55% more comments on their walls!

If women are an important part of your audience, you need to engage with them where they are already engaged: Facebook.

Facebook has evolved to address adults and businesses. It used to be the place I learned about my son’s ex-girlfriend’s guitar lessons. Now it’s the place I enjoy my colleagues marketing brainstorms and my yoga teacher’s new videos.

Is your blog posting to your Facebook business page?

What do SEO and Dr. Seuss have in common? The Cat in the Hat of course

A Daylight Websites Post in SEO, by C. Jane Taylor
Dr Seuss the Cat in the Hat

Dr. Seuss, the first SEO guru; The Cat in the Hat, the first optimized article...

According to urban legend (and my friend Steve Crafts at Place Creative), Dr. Seuss wrote the Cat in the Hat in response to a challenge. The challenge is essentially the same challenge we face in SEO everyday: take a list of very specific words and write something appealing.

Dr. Seuss was given a list of words, most of them monosyllabic, that children of a specific age would be learning in school. The challenge was to write something wonderful using those key words.

As an internet marketer, I am not often given a list, I have to create one based on the target audience, popular usage and the fierceness of online competition. This list shapes the foundation of the content I write on sites and in blogs.

The content has to be attractive to both search engines and people. In other words, it has to be optimized without being clunky.

Today you are you, that is truer than true.
Your keywords should reflect all that you do.
Search engines like it, oh yes they do.
The right keywords will bring good traffic to you…

Apologies to the good doctor!

Early blog readers enjoy a cuppa

Early blog readers enjoy a cuppa

I pledge allegiance to Local and the Local Movement is as strong as the smell of manure in early summer here in Vermont. And so it was only fitting that once I acquired the taste for coffee (I wont tell you how long ago that was because it is not fashionable to be this old online), I drank a Vermont brew.

Bristol Bakery

Grab a cup of Dark Roast, brewed to perfection at the Bristol Baker

I started with Green Mountain Coffee Roaster’s Harvard Blend, it made me feel smart. You should try it. But then I discovered the darker roasts.

Once I tried espresso and cappuccino and there was no turning back. I’ll never forget my first cappuccino, it was at the Cafe Reggio (but that’s a different story). Back in Vermont, I experimented with Speeder and Earl’s Black Forrest Blend. It has Bavarian chocolate overtones. It is wonderful, but it is a flavored coffee, which means it is a different animal.

Then I found the real thing: Vermont Coffee Company‘s Dark Roast. Accept no substitutes.

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The Rooster crows!

What people are saying about Daylight Websites:

"You single-handed raised the bar for us!" - Alastair Gracie, Adstrategies Inc

"Whew! It looks awesome - let's launch
this damn thing! ;-)"
- Keri Piatek Crafts, Place Creative

"You and Tim were always so easy to work with and being comfortable with both of you made it so much easier for me to ask the "stupid" questions without being intimidated by your superior technological know-how...." - Vicki Wilson, Hoisington Realty

"Damn you guys are good. I don’t know what Bud will think – and it’s really none of my business. But from an integration standpoint, this is just nuts. Well done, sir."
- Dustin Moore

"Awesome!" - Bud

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