One year ago today cnn presented an online article on wine marketing featuring non other than wine guru Gary V. There are many valuable lessons to be learnt for all who are currently interested in wine marketing, social media and a really goode job.
#1 Lesson from Wine Guru Gary Vaynerchuk: Become part of the conversation.
“I became part of the conversation instead of dictating the conversation,” says Vaynerchuk. Becoming part of the conversation (online) means you need to find that conversation. What has been your focus? Who are you trying to converse with? Are you talking to them or are you talking with them?
Essentially, your average consumer is responding to messages that are more closely attuned to his or her individual preferences – so it pays for you understand these preferences or better yet, to help shape those preferences. You need to understand your target audience, and people: your target audience is not Murphy-Goode.
Take some time now to think about and understand who MG wants to reach: have you geared your campaign with the consumer in mind? Have you engaged in conversation? Is it all about wine? Or are you able to look beyond this and communicate on a deeper level? Wine media needs to be like wine drinking: a beautiful accessory to the conversations you enjoy, not the full content and over dominating denominator of your purpose. You need to remember this especially when you are a guest at someone else’s blog.
On your own turf, it might help to remember that although some people will blurt out there needs and desires, many will be too intimidated to come out and ask you questions or engage in conversation. This is why you must consider how you will present any information you wish to transport to your reader. Are you a wine marketer looking to land the MG gig? Then you may need to get over your lingo and learn to engage with your reader from a different perspective… from a perspective which resonates with the non-wine marketer, more specifically: with the wine drinker.
One year ago today, the article closed with these words: “It’s all part of Vaynerchuk’s plot to transfer control of the wine conversation out of the hands of trained professionals and to those who might once have been afraid to buy off a restaurant wine list.”
Today I come to you with a quick re-cap of a few interesting articles I found for you on the web.
As you all surely know by now, my short, intense MG campaign has been built almost solely on this blog and on twitter interaction. Over two months I have posted over 80 posts (including over 25 awesome guest posts) and generated over 600 comments. On twitter, I started at zero and have a modest following which I vet regularily (get those spammers away from me!), have generated over 2.3K tweets and have met loads of amazing people in the process. My seo is strong, even ranking for “horse treadmills” on google above the fold on pg. 1 (he, he, the power of guest posts thanks to Anita!). So it should come as no surprise that I think blogs and twitter make a bombastic combination.
Michael Mock writes over at Some Disassembly Required a great piece about how you can leverage blogs for business. Here is a small glimpse at what he has to say:
If done correctly, a blog can attract a dedicated audience to build upon and share expertise, information, ideas and content, while boosting awareness of your company and brand. If done incorrectly, however, you can leave customers feeling dissatisfied and ready to turn to your competitor. Source: 4 Ways to Boost Business with a Blog
His four way plan is a great jumping board for all those who want to build their own brand: how to set your blog up to boost your readership, encourage engagement, build a loyal following. You may not have a product to sell, you are out to sell yourself! So if your blog is kind of flapping around with no real impact, consider what Michael has to say.
Another great tidbit was to be found at Training Marketer. Here you will find some great content on how to get the attention of online shoppers, from the mom-and-pop business down the street, to the giant corporation across the globe. I want to share a video which really wonderfully shows you how something can go viral, you can go check the text here What does Viral Marketing look like?
Those are my tips for today. Basically: harness you passion and present it to your readers on your blog… reach out to others and have a good time and you will begin to draw people to you.
Now the time is ripe: we have all been networking like crazy over the past weeks… you are connected with at least a handful of social media wine lovers… are you ready to leverage your advantage you have gained over the past 8 weeks?
The whole wine world is watching Murphy-Goode and regardless of where you are in the race, you can come out victorious! Let’s leverage this opportunity and create wine web2.0 history! Are you in?
In blogging, the act of pinging allows you to notifies a server that your content has been updated. The ping signal is sent to one or more “ping servers,” which continually generate a list of blogs that have new material. Many blog authoring tools automatically ping one or more servers each time the blogger creates a new post or updates an old one. A small breakdown of which tools automatically do this and how to do this manually follows below.
There are two ping “camps” on the web. Those ping servers which let other web services subscribe to a list of blogs that have recently pinged them, for example VeriSign’s Moreover Technology. This allows blog search engines to provide fresh results very quickly by polling only the newly updated blogs. These ping servers tell subscribers which items on their subscription lists have fresh material.
Most of the major blog search engines operate with ping servers that gather information only for their own applications . Propreitary servers with their own subscription applications have no icentive to share their received ping data directly with other servers, which may offer competeing services. In this case, bloggers have to ping a large number of individual servers to receive the desired publicity. To effectively syndicate your information to these various search engines, you must learn to ping as there are ping services out there which ping multiple proprietary ping servers.
Ping from Point of Publish
The easiest way to ping is to leverage the ping option in your blog software. All wordpress self-hosted blogs have this option. Other self hosted blogs do offer this as well, however I personally have never used other blog platforms so you would best be served if you contact the “help” section of your individual blog service.
To set or change your ping list on a self-hosted wordpress blogs you need to go to your admin area /wp-admin/options-writing.php and scroll down until you come to the last option, which is your ping list. Here you will see a standard list offered with every wp blog. This is not an exhaustive list! My suggestion is to go back to Jack’s post about ping lists, do a copy & paste and dump Jack’s list into your ping list. Be sure to delete the current list to ensure you are not double pinging any services before you past Jack’s list.
It couldn’t be easier than this to ping. For this list essentially sends pings to all those sites listed on your ping list each and everytime you hit “publish” (which means that when you update a post it is re-pinged!). Each time you post something to your blog, the bots are sent to spider your content and send your keywords, hyperlinks, scrollover texts, picture descriptions… EVERYTHING back to the ping services and they in turn constantly send their information to google and co.
This is very beautiful. And powerful. And easy.
Now, just because you can put this on autopilot does not mean that you may not want to look at the “post publish pinging” services mentioned below — especially King Ping (no, I do not get any affiliate brownie points for any of the payed services mentioned below, which is tragic, I know).
Post Publish Pinging
There is one reason why I chose this wordpress.com blog. To purposefully put myself at a disadvantage and enable myself to remember what I have learned and observed in blog publishing instead of relying on automatic set-ups, plug-ins and widgets. And to show you that even with a wp.com or blogspot.com blog you can still create not only awesome content, but you can do all that savvy stuff self hosted bloggers do. You just need to work a wee bit harder. So do not fear, if your blog system does not allow you to change a ping list in the admin section, you can do this externally. There are free services out there or you can use payed services.
Feed Ping — by far the most exhaustive free ping list.
King Ping — these guys have a pretty funky set up and a free ping option.
Paid post ping services:
pingler — an exhaustive list of about 100 ping sites, pingler allows you to add 25 different URLs to their services which they ping automatically for you every three days.
King Ping — you can submit 30 different URLs to ping with thier services. This service is more expensive (at $17 a month) but they come and spider all your URLs many times a day for new content. The URLs you submit can be blogs, twitter, squidoo, scrbd, hubpages, ezine articles… and the list goes on. May very well be worth your money.
Get the help from the pinging websites which will ping your latest post permalink and rss to hundreds of websites ! As you make the pings, you will be able to spread your blog post all over the web. This way your blog post will get lot of visibility and your blog will get lot of quality traffic and valuable links.
As usual, I have learned heaps in the process of researching this topic for you! I am going to go back to some of the sites to see which service I am going to use in the future!
Do you have any other ping sites you use? Have you pinged your twitter feed? Or do you only ping your blog? Why?
This post is a conituation of my syndication series, you might also be interested in:
I am having a very exciting week, people! After wearing my hair long for the past few years I had it chopped off in March this year in the hopes to control my hormonal hair-loss… I contemplated writing an entry about the whole dilemma—having painstakingly clear the drain each time I shower (half way through the shower) to enable the water to flow off, daily vaccuming enough hair to make a decent sized carpet out of and the ritual cleaning of the vaccum filter before tomorrows “wash-rinse-repeat” deal—but then I realized that it’s possible that no one cares as much about the state of my hair as I do.
(Oh, the irony of a blogger realizing that ANYTHING is only interesting to her. Ha!)
So instead of talking about my hair, we can delve right into TODAY’s adventure, which was going to see a gynecologist! Because that’s totally of interest to everyone!
What? What is that you say? You don’t want to hear it? You have pretended your general practitioner does not exist avoided your doctors successfully for the past — what? — 15 years? But surely you have been to the dentist twice a year, right?
Why not? What are you afraid of?
Well, since we are talking so openly with each other today (thanks for your trust), I must confess that there are a few things I generally block out of my mind: dentists, gynocologists and even somethings floating around the social media scene. FEAR can hinder us from many things. Sometimes fear is based on past (unpleasant) experience, often times though it is completely irrational.
In previous posts I have covered the first three tips to landing a social media dream job:
Speaking of the social network scene I have only recently discovered thanks to the Murphy-Goode Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent job, you might be surprised to discover that Andy has some deep social media fears she is learning to overcome.
One such fear was the call to the New Wine Consumer podcast on June 2, 2009: Murphy-Goode candidates live. Can you imagine my apprehension? I mean it was *live*. What the heck could I talk about on a live show filled with all those MG hopefuls? I have never drunk a drip of anything stronger than grape juice! I have never been to a vineyard! I have never been on a talk show, radio show and never done anything *live* (well, except living of course).
Before the show on the 2nd I was telling two friends about my blog and the progress I am making and Randulo’s radio show. The second friend actually had missed the beginning of the conversation and she said: What? You have been invited to do what with a guy living in a bordelle? (Randy lives in Bordeaux, France.) Yeah, I said, and I don’t know what to wear?
We had a good laugh, but deep down mine was a nervous laughter. I was scared to make the call. Afraid to make a complete fool out of myself. Here on my blog, I can take my time, organize my thoughts and generally ignore issues until I am ready to deal with them. But *live* and with *no script* and *other free-thinking, free-speaking* people involved? (Gosh, I am beginning to wonder if I am a control freak?)
So I conveniently did not make the call. I told Randy it was because I was feeding my family (five hungry kids at dinner time, it was not a lie, but I wasn’t truely showing Randy my hand). Too bad, ’cause the podcast was great and it would have been so much fun to connect with those people I have met virtually along this short yet intense journey.
Imagine my shock when Randy asked me to join him on the next podcast. Let me show you how this guy works:
I actually do not remember “committing” to attend, but I do remember saying that the timing is not the greatest for me and my family.
But if you think I was kind of lamed after that invitation (which with my lack of professionality I was kind of thinking to conviently “not show up to again” — if you want me to be painfully shamefully honest), he sends out this tweet on Monday, ONE DAY before that next show he had invited me to and he apparently ignored my answer WENT OFF LINE RIGHT AFTER SENDING IT!
Hello? Let me tell you about my issues with FEAR. Holy smoke. No way I want to let Randy down now! How can I leave someone who has is expecting me to do something for him? And how totally unprofessional this would be for me to NOT show. Yikes. (Oh, and excuse me: “the main guest”? How did I get myself into this? Yikes!)
People. I learned a valuable lesson this past Tuesday. If you want to go anywhere with your social media campaign, you need to get over your fear. What ever it is: find a way to get control over your fear. Deal with it before it deals with you.
I had a great time on the call. I realized that I need to learn a few things if I want to be involved with podcasts in any way in the future. I got to connect with some really neat people and it has been a mind-opening experience — one of many along this great journey Murphy-Goode has opened up for so many of us!
In keeping with the case study so far, this would mean that you have at least a rudimentary understanding of wine and the wine industry in the United States. Thankfully you are applying for an internet based job, so you can google loads and come across as competent. I have taken the pains and hours of research over and present you with my results:
Here are some great sources of information concerning the Wine Industry in the United States:
Consuming Kids throws desperately needed light on the practices of a relentless multi-billion dollar marketing machine that now sells kids and their parents everything from junk food and violent video games to bogus educational products and the family car.
Drawing on the insights of health care professionals, children’s advocates, and industry insiders, the film focuses on the explosive growth of child marketing in the wake of deregulation, showing how youth marketers have used the latest advances in psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to transform American children into one of the most powerful and profitable consumer demographics in the world.
Consuming Kids pushes back against the wholesale commercialization of childhood, raising urgent questions about the ethics of children’s marketing and its impact on the health and well-being of kids.
Heads up to one of my personal favorite bloggers, goodbean for drawing my attention to this. It really perked my attention because my second child had homework last week which she found impossible to complete: it was about commercials and since my children don’t watch commercial tv, she was at quite a disadvantage. I did consider what “disservice” I am doing my child by not teaching her to be a savvy consumer at the young age of 10, but after seeing this video, I feel rather confident that we are on the right path with raising our small brood of five children.
Imagine my joy to find one of my favorite and most inspiring bloggers gave an interview way over at BuzzLogic (double cool, really) and it gets BETTER. They are talking over a glass of wine!!! (Are your ears ringing yet? That is right, some awesome lessons coming your way!!!)
You might say: oh, she is talking about monetizing, I am not in to that… but I say: wait! She is not going to be able to monetize if she cannot engage her readers… so watch and learn.
Blog your journey, make yourself accountable to your goals… just awesome stuff.
What a pleasure it is to allow another Murphy-Goode Wine Lifestyle Correspondent hopeful lady to guest post on my blog today. People, here is a light article which almost poetically weaves the message: Keep it authentic. Once you have read Ashley’s words, I am sure you will agree, so without further fanfare, I present you Ashley Bellview:
Everything I know about competition, I learned from Willy Wonka.
You can yell as loud as you want, buy up all the candy bars in the world and bully your way to the top, but in the end you’ll just find yourself stuck in a chocolate tube. No. Brute force, bribery and fur coats never work – well at least not for long.
I have unintentionally found myself representing, defending and poster child-ing the Low Budget side of this addictive Murphy-Goode campaign. Like Charlie, it was a little bit of luck that got this whole thing started in the first place. A friend passed along the Murphy-Goode posting (golden ticket?). IT’S PERFECT FOR YOU she capitalized. So, like all nervous contestants, I began my quest by scoping out the competition. Mistake #1.
If you plan on being low budget, don’t waste your time comparing yourself to all the accomplished bloggers, wine sommeliers and Le Cordon Bleu alum. The thing about social media is that it is, in fact, social! You have all the tools and tricks of the trade in your head already. So I took my so-old-I-don’t-even-want-to-tell-you-the-model camcorder and got to work being social. Yes it was hand-held, no it was not The Blair Witch Project.
It’s about being authentic, because nobody wants to see a corporate figure head bobbling PR nonsense their way. They want to hear something interesting from someone interesting – familiar. And about wine for goodness sake! Some may make it a science, but the joy of wine lay not in the mastery of it, but in the experience. Because once you master wine, then what, oh master? Ask Dionysus if he cares to detail the subtleties and complexities within his glass of wine before he gets to drink it – I dare you.
You taste, you spit, you laugh, you learn, you live. Basics. Like living. Don’t make it more complicated than it has to be. I say be yourself, honor your family (no matter how old) tell the truth, wear comfortable clothes, laugh when you want, work hard (even when you don’t necessarily want to), and only taste the Fizzy Lifting Drink if you promise to return the gobstopper in the end.
Ashley, thank you so much for taking the time to share with us today! For the readers, here is where you can find Ashley and here is her video. Enjoy!
And now I know you want to have the link to vote for a great Murphy-Goode hopeful, so you can go directly to the scene… HERE.
Dale tosses out this list with the following reason: phenomenal growth in every sector on twitter– including the wine industry. Heck, even I am out beating the wine industry twitter path, so that has to mean something!
@ProBlogger — Darren Rowse — you want to learn how to leverage Twitter for the Goode of Murphy, then get to know Darren. The above mentioned Must-Follow list is a great start to find out who might be right up your alley and be able to really tweet to you.
@BendTheWeb — Jack Humphrey — you want to understand how to blog and leverage the web from this side? Start bending with Jack. I have been following him also since day one of my online endeavors. Great stuff comes your way daily.
@Mashable — Pete Cashmore — want to understand what is hot online and start to sharpen your sense to getting the most out of your online time? Pete is your man.
@TheFlyLady — these ladies have a great system up and going and are helping people world wide. I have learned heaps just by observing how the whole fly-net is structured and how they just go out and help, help, help. Inspirational and great lessons can be learned by whoever likes to think around the corner (and find new techniques to adapt to your own strategies).
@MizFitOnline — Carla has to be one of those bright stars when it comes to motivation and engaging her readers… I sincerely doubt she even sleeps (although she has assured me otherwise)–how can anyone be so into communicating to other people? Excellent person to follow and get a taste of what it means to feed your following.
@SkinnyJeans — Steph comes right up there with Carla and the fly people. You want to understand how to connect with your fleet, then you need to study the best. These ladies do not spam and they offer value, honesty, integrety and interest in the individual. This is what I strive for with my twitter time!
@RickButts — Rick Butts — conservative radio show host, pro-blogger. Want someone to follow whom you can study on how to use mp3/radio power? Rick is your man.
@garyvee — Gary Vaynerchuck — ok, to try to make a top ten list without actually mentioning a wine buz person for the MG teamers to follow is just not gonna work. You want to understand how to leverage video? Gary is your man– but you get more than you ask for, so consider yourself forwarned!
@ihelpu — Andrea Schmitz — go have a look at how you can use twitter to let people help people. This is a great study in how to leverage TweetAlert for the benefit of all the tweeple out there. There is an automatic follow set up but it has grown from zero followers to it’s size today with NO advertisement from me–this is pure organic growth from the tweeple giving a tweet of recommendation.
@AquaOlogy — Andrea Schmitz — start-up last night. No automatic follow (yikes!), but service pure. This is my new “let me help you along in your day” tweet with practical hourly hydration tips. Want to see how this takes off and people find value, retweet and allow this account to grow into a useful and powerful tool? All I do is tell you to go have a drink of water… the tweeple do the rest!
So, my friends… this is my must follow list. There are loads of great tweeple out there, though, so hit me up in the comments and share your “must-follow” with me and the community at large!
In light of the big buzz around the niche of wine blogging, wine marketing and web2.0 savvyness for the Murphy-Goode Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent position, I present you all with yet another tech simplicity to increase your attractive services in the wine industry–well, for any industry gone online, for that matter!
Intorducing a custom search engine which is so easy to configure while also remains a “low profile search widget” yet helps drastically improve the visitor experience, collects relevant data and presents the publisher (that would be the blogger, you!) with excellent user-related statistics to help improve your own content.
Lijit provides an impressive search network creation dashboard where you can define and manage your trusted social networks connections. Basically you are creating your own search engine that searches your blog, bookmarks, photos, blog roll, and more…
But before I write up all about it, let me SHOW you lijit in action — working for the Goode of Murphy:
Don’t you agree: being able to pull in your network to expand search results on your blog is great and an awesome way to increase the power of your network? Social media goes bezeerk with lijit!
I mean, there are lots of bells and whistles, but their big service comes down to this–we can all search each other’s blogs from our own blogs… Awesome!