Introducing Expert Blogging

Blogging is a core business for my firm. In fact we have some bloggers who have been writing for our clients now since 2006. That’s five years of blogging. But we’ve actually been providing this service since late 2004. From professional blogging experience we have several writers who have really developed a level of expertise both in style and in content.

Just this past week we introduced a new program called Expert Blogging. We have three special writers who provide services at this new level.

Diamond Level by Sue – $50 per post
Diamond Level blog posts are written exclusively by our most experienced blogger,  Sue Guirl, a graduate from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism.  As a professional journalist, Sue has a unique style of writing that is both  informative and engaging. She knows how to craft a blog post, turn a phrase,  and paint a picture with her words that provides for an exceptionally fine  level of writing. With many of our client’s asking for her by name, Sue  is our most popular writer. Due to the mastery of her craft, Sue writes exclusively  at the Diamond Level for blogging. She also writes website content and feature articles for web and print publications. Find out more information and read samples.

SEO Blogging by Brian – $40 per      post
SEO blogging is done exclusively by Brian Jenkins, a graduate from the University  of California with a degree in economics and experienced writing professional.  Brian has written extensively over the last three years for a notable SEO expert  creating optimized guest blog posts. He brings to our firm an understanding  of keyword density and how to write and optimize blog posts for SEO purposes.  Brian has a wonderful informative blog writing style and strives for a keyword  density on your selected phrase of between 3-5% in each post.  In addition to blogs, Brian also writes SEO focused press releases. Find out more information.

Bed Bug & Pest Control Blogging      by Rhonda – $40 per post Bed bug and pest control blogging is done exclusively by Rhonda Crehan, a seasoned  pest control writing expert. Rhonda has over four years of writing experience  in the pest control industry. She has strong pest control experience writing  and has over two years of specialized in writing about bed bug control, prevention,  identification, bed bug dogs, and pending bed bug legislation. She is extremely  interested and knowledgeable about the pest control industry and this interest  and passion shows in her well written blog posts for clients. Review a selection of her blog posts recently written for clients.  Find out more information and read samples.

Please contact us to find out more about this exciting new program that showcases our expert topical and style bloggers. When you are looking for the best or extraordinary blogging we have the writers for your special needs.


How Will You Build Your Social Community?

Here are a few of my tips to help build a social community whether it be at Facebook or Twitter.

1. Offer something of value. When all you talk about is yourself, others get bored fast! Make sure your status updates or tweets are informative and not redux of what others are saying for the day. Look for the unusual, try to offer insight, look for cool things to share.

2. Take time to be real. People want to know there is a real person behind the message. Although they do not want to be bored with personal details, finding common ground is crucial to connecting and building a community.

3. Make sure to give credit to others when it is due. If you retweet something, make sure you credit the original author by putting RT username. Like RT McCordWeb…..

4. If someone retweets your information of shares your video or pictures on Facebook, connect and say thanks. It just takes a moment, but allows you to say thanks for the other person sharing their wall or followers with your message.

5. In your updates take polls, ask questions, and solicit advice. Try hard to engage your readers. When you find out what it is that engages them whether it be a funny video, insightful commentary, or photos, make a mental note and build on that known. Continue to seek new ways to engage and connect until you clearly identify what your readers want and then work to deliver it.

6. I have found that with Twitter you will typically be connecting with others in your industry and sometimes consumers, while on Facebook you will be mostly connecting with consumers or prospective clients. Cater your message to what you personally find out about your own social community as you develop it.


Winergy’s Vanity QR Code Generator

This QR code generator is a thing of beauty. Believe me I know, as in the last week I have visited many sites and tested many generators. The Winergy QR code generator creates the most stable yet beautiful codes I have seen as of yet.

Winergy is a privately held marketing company that helps wineries promote their brand and identity. I was sent a link to their generator by Thomas after he had seen a tweet generated by my blog on the topic of QR code generators. Since visiting their site I have made QR codes for my website, my connect page, my brochures, and the back of my business card. I have extensively tested the codes to make sure they are readable and easily scannable. But best of all they are eye catching and unique.

Try the simple to use QR code generator for yourself and see if this application doesn’t become your generator of choice. By the way, Winergy provides custom QR code generators and QR code harvesters if you want to buy your own application and have it on your website.

Just a quick note, I did not get paid for this blog post, just found a very cool product and wanted to share it with you!


QR Codes and SEO

QR codes are a great way to interact with users of the mobile web guiding them from print resources to your web links, but can you use QR codes for SEO purposes? At this time my feeling is maybe but most likely not in the way you thought.

Add me to your smartphone address book by scanning.
Add me to your smartphone address book by scanning.

If you generate your QR code and then save the image to your own server you are most likely defeating any SEO benefits. If you are using a generator that saves your image on their server and you just point to the image there, there may be some small benefit of link juice you may capture or search engine discovery, but not enough in my mind, to warrant linking to the image location off site. If you are shrinking your link and the link shrinking service is saving the link URL and history you may get a small benefit.

QR codes are images and are read with an optical device, so this means that Google cannot spider nor read the images and so putting QR codes on your website will do nothing for SEO purposes. Although Google is not indexing QR codes, it is embracing them. Here’s how. Visit Google’s link shrinker at Shrink your link, then paste your link in your browser address bar and add .qr at the end. Go to the link and you will see that Google has automatically made a scannable QR code for your link. Additionally if you are logged into your Google account when you shrink your link, Google will keep a history of your links as well as the number of clicks recorded visiting the link.

Although search engines can’t read QR codes, if you make your codes with the URL shrinker at Google, Google will keep a history of the links and may discover your pages on its own, but will QR codes improve your organic placement like blogging content will, no, but they are cool to use for connecting with mobile web users and definitely a technology to use and keep a careful eye on.


Using QR Codes

Now that you know a little bit more about QR Codes or Quick Response Codes how can you use them? Wow, that is the exciting part and some of it is based only on your imagination. Here are a few of my suggestions.

Add a QR Code to Your Print Brochures
Add a QR Code to your print brochure, you can send your user to your home page or better yet send them to a custom created landing page that has a special offer to allow you to actually measure the results of your exposure from a trade show, speaking engagement, direct mailing.

Offer Special Coupon Codes and Promotions
Want to track mobile Web users? As most desktop users are not using QR Code scanners, you can encode special offers as a text snippet and even embed a special coupon code in a QR Code that can then be used immediately by smartphone users.

Encourage Google HotPot, FourSquare, and Google Places Reviews
By embedding your QR Code on your menu or guest check, restaurants can encourage visitors to interact immediately with location specific places to share their favorite spots with others and encourage visitors to even leave service reviews.

Print a QR Code on the back of your business card
With the ability to embed a vCard in your QR Code, you can make it easy for smartphone users to add your contact information to their phone and if they are syncing to Outlook will appear there too.

How do you think you will use a QR Code? Just click comments and let me know your suggestion too.


Free QR Code Generators

You don’t need to have a smartphone to create a QR Code for your print or website use. You can use one of these free online resources.

This free generator will create a QR Code using their URL to host the QR Code image for a phone number, a text snippet, an SMS text message, or a URL. Once the smartphone has read the QR Code the application will allow the user to save it, put it into contacts, email it or text message it, depending on the type of QR Code you have generated.

Kerem Erkan
This QR Code Generator is more advanced allowing more options. With 21 options to select from you can create a QR Code that will send a meCard, bookmark a website, tweet on Twitter, do an Android Marketplace app search, create a vCalendar event, and create a FourSquare new vendor URL. The list is extensive and you may want to make several variations. This QR Code generator will even allow you to choose the colors for your graphic. It also allows you to save the image in a variety of formats so you can host it on your own website.

Personally I like the options available with the second choice as well as the option to host the image generated on my own site so that I am not at the mercy of someone else if their site goes down.

So what can you do with a QR Code?
Actually that will be our Friday blog post so make sure to check back. We’re going to write about how you might use a QR Code and why you should consider implementing them on your website and printed materials.

For more great information about QR Codes, how to use them, how they got started we recommend that you visit this excellent article at the Social Media Examiner.