Tag Archives: Social Media

Social Media Mondays: Crafting a Clickable Headline – Learning from Gawker

31 Oct

The PR Daily posted Gawker’s Four Tips for Writing Irresistible Headlines.  They must be doing something right. Collectively, the sites are attracting 32 million visitors a month. So let’s learn from the good folks at Gawker. How to write a captivating headline in brief:

1. Tell the reader everything in the headline

2.  No more than two lines

3. Don’t be too clever

4. Don’t be too smart.

I decided to go to Gawker to see if their headlines would make me take notice and click on the link.  Not a lot of Gawker’s personal headlines grabbed me. (They have a section on Prison. Really?!) But the content of their sister sites did get my attention. So what made me click?

Life at Target: Hard Knocks Off the Clock. What I thought: what does this mean? What’s happening at Target? Obviously this is relevant? Later:  will this affect the Canadian store that is set to open next year? Read: It’s catchy. It’s intriguing. (Gawker)

Magnetic Toothbrush Holder Cleanly Mounts Your Tolietries for Easy Access. What I thought: Oooh. Really?! Smart! Why did I not think of this before? and how much bacteria is on my toothbrush? Remember that episode of How I Met Your Mother when Lily and Marshall revealed that they shared the same toothbrush and then they found out Ted, their roommate, was also using it too? Read: practical. (Lifehacker)

Image: from I09

Handy Map of the United States showing the scariest thing in every single state. What I thought: Negativity can work in a headline. The PR Daily didn’t mention that. I like maps. I like this in graphical format. The stereotypes are true. It’s funny. I need to brush up on my US geography. (I09)

How to Give a Compelling Presentation to a Smart, Jerky or Otherwise Picky Audience. What I thought: useful but will I ever use it in my lifetime? (Don’t think I’ll be presenting anything to Jeff Bezos soon.) Then I realized this article was by Steve Yegge, who became famous for his insightful, honest look at Google that was meant to only employees but got leaked. So I continued to read it because I was intrigued by his story. Read: practical; how to deal with a situation that is out of your control. (Answer: admit your shortcomings, laugh, and learn from the mistake).  (Lifehacker)

A stunning time-lapse of Iceland’s nightless summer. What I thought: I like Iceland. I like stunning. I like nightless summers. Time-lapse I can deal with. Read: all catch phrases and a great video. (Io9)

How do you write a captivating headline? How much time do you think about your headlines? 

Social Media Mondays – Top Travel Blog Tips Summary and Photos from Italy (Because why not?!)

24 Oct

Venice. One of my ultimate travel fantasies come to life.

There was a great interview with Gary Arndt featured on Travelllll.com the other day. Gary’s a great source of information on blogging and travel because he’s done it, done it successfully and he’s good at it. (Sidenote: his travel blog is called Everything. Everywhere. and you can find him on Twitter under @everywheretrip).  Suffice to say, he’s made it his everyday job. I took some notes on the video because it’s a half hour.  I also incorporated some pictures from my trip to Italy because it’s fun and it makes this post more “me” (advice put into effect).

Key Points: 

1. Focus on your RSS and your fans and less on your pageviews and Stumble Upon (not that they’re not important).  It’s not about what your audience has seen, it’s about what your audience is going to see next. Sidenote: I think engagement is really important and though I am new to the regular blogging game and don’t have as many pageviews as I’d like I make sure I have a conversation with everyone who interacts with me.

In front of the Ferrari factory in Modena. Some may consider this a travel fantasy. We're weren't allowed into the factory.

2. Remember travel is a fantasy. And what gets people to the fantasy? Pictures. Gary posts a daily travel photo from different regions of the world everyday. He also makes it a point to improve on his photography on a regular basis.

Not in the video is my favourite Gary Arndt travel quote. It is:

Travel Porn: Watching people do things you’ll never do in places you’ll never go. 

Let’s make people fantasize even if they can’t get away or get to half the countries others do.

This is me "raising the roof" in front of the Duomo. It's the dorky moments we remember, right?

3. The advantage bloggers have over publications is that they’re a personality. I have asked Gary personally what his number one tip is and he always says: BE YOURSELF. Using your own photos and your own stories will make you stand out.  I think a few magazines are getting smart and showcasing the personalities of their editors or writers. @WheresAndrew of National Geographic Traveler is a good example; @LisaTant, editor of Flare Magazine is also very active and vocal on Twitter bringing life to the print edition. That said, bloggers are approachable and make the time to meet with their audience whether it’s at blogger conferences or locally held tweetups. For me, I always try to meet anyone coming to Toronto in person and show them around. This has helped me cement connections that I don’t even usually have at conferences. It also enforces my knowledge of Toronto and therefore, as a resource further grounding my niche (whether I want to admit it or not). Anyone can do this with the city where they reside.

How to keep at it? Simple. Passion. Don't blog because you feel you have to keep up. I do it because I truly love it. And I hope to inspire others as hokey as it sounds.

4. The early advantage of being a travel blogger  is gone and the tried and true method of hard work and spending time on your travel blog –or any blog–still remains. I wish I had done it sooner but I know consistency and good content will enable me to build an audience. Once the audience is built and I have a community of those coming to my blog, then I can think about monetization. Honestly, it’s not really a focus right now. I’d rather spend the time building a reputation and as much content as I can. Again, it’s going to take time.

This was a phrase I used a lot on my trip. And as a blogger or traveler, you may have those moments. Or you may just really like the musical.

5.  Point number four is a good segue: DON’T QUIT. Doing something consistently is hard. Sometimes, I wonder: “will anyone see this? Does anyone CARE?” and the other thought I have is: “will my efforts pay off?” I don’t know. But it’s encouraging to hear not to give up. Especially when it’s a passion.

What’s the best piece of blogging advice you’ve been given? 

Social Media Mondays

10 Oct

Photo: Sharon Montrose, The Animal Printshop dot com

There’s stop motion but I had never heard about photo motion. It’s time consuming, but very fun to watch especially if there’s good music in the background. The very fun Joshy Washington of Matador shows you how to do it with a few cool examples. Another example I stumbled upon was this very cool video highlighting Paris.  I’ve watched it again and again!

I told you copy blogger was becoming a favourite resource for all things social media. As a good recap, there is a list of eight effective blog habits. At first, I was having trouble being consistent. However, sticking to the plan of posting on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays has really helped me in staying consistent.  Having a theme for a particular day, like Social Media Mondays or Fri Fotos recaps,  is like doing homework and it helps.

Travelllll discusses the new Blogger platform, where readers can view your blog in seven different ways. I like the discussion on this where it’s mentioned that Blogger still has control over your blog and can kill it at any time, as opposed to a self-hosted WordPress blog. Are you on Blogger? If not, would you switch? I have had my blog compromised a few times on Blogger. As cool as their new layouts look, I don’t think I could ever go back and will wait until I can get a designer to customize my blog the way I want it. Plus, I don’t think you can monetize very well on Blogger. That said, there are a few successful blogs on Blogger like Oh Happy Day and Cup of Jo.

And for a bit of inspiration, I am linking to the Stanford commencement speech from Steve Jobs. It has over 8 million views on You Tube. Amazing.

What are your most effective blogging habits? What is a challenge for you with your blog? I’d love to hear.  What do you think of the new Blogger set up? 

Social Media Mondays

3 Oct

Luke, I am your father. Photo from: Business Grow.

Why hello there…

The social media round up of this week includes:

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Travel Peeps I Want to Meet (11-13)

8 Jun

Twitter is a small world.  Especially in the travel blogging community.  Let’s face it. Some of us are addicts. Some of us may spend more time on Twitter than we do with our own family or friends.  I may be one of those people. As the Twitter motto is:  follow your interests. Through this motto, I have been fortunate to have met some really amazing bloggers out there who are passionate about travel and life.  I haven’t met most of the people on this list in real life. The ones that I have met in real life, I wish I had a chance to speak with further, mainly because I’m genuinely curious and admire them in some way. Otherwise, I am hoping I can learn from their successes in some way to further better myself.  Bonus: They’re going to be at TBEX  (for those who don’t know, this is a conference called the Travel Blog Exchange) in Vancouver in June.  Holiday! Celebrate!

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Travel Peeps I want to Meet at TBEX (8-10)

19 May

Twitter is a small world.  Especially in the travel blogging community.  Let’s face it. Some of us are addicts. Some of us may spend more time on Twitter than we do with our own family or friends.  I may be one of those people. As the Twitter motto is:  follow your interests. Through this motto, I have been fortunate to have met some really amazing bloggers out there who are passionate about travel and life.  I haven’t met most of the people on this list in real life. The ones that I have met in real life, I wish I had a chance to speak with further, mainly because I’m genuinely curious and admire them in some way. Otherwise, I am hoping I can learn from their successes in some way to further better myself.  Bonus: They’re going to be at TBEX  (for those who don’t know, this is a conference called the Travel Blog Exchange) in Vancouver in June.  Holiday! Celebrate!

This is not Marilyn, but the Banff Squirrel (@BanffSquirrel) she made famous! Photo via: National Geographic Traveler

8. Marilyn Terrell (@Marilyn_Res) The grand pooh-bah of all researchers out there; she is the chief researcher of Natioanl Geographic Traveler and very heavily involved in Traveler’s Social Media efforts. (Pssst: you can always find her sharing her knowledge on #TNI on most Thursdays).   She is also famous for finding the picture of that squirrel that popped up in a honeymoon photo and went viral in 2009. This then spawned the birth of @BanffSquirrel and many forthcoming hilarious tweets. Word on the street is that she’s one of the nicest gals around, and of course passionate about travel. My only issue:  Will I actually get to have a conversation with her, without the 500 other attendees hounding her to work at National Geographic? Sigh. Plus, She is one degree of separation from the Holy Grail: Keith Bellows, Editor in Chief of Traveler. You can see for yourself when Kim Mance toured the National Geographic Traveler Offices with Marilyn.    I have a great idea I want to share with her, but how do I approach her without making her feel bombarded?

I can’t think about Andrew Evans without thinking of a penguin.  Photo: National Geographic Bus2Antarctica blog. 

9.  Andrew Evans (@WheresAndrew) Another “celebrity” of the travel community. I like to call him the “Where’s Waldo?” of travel.  His twitter handle should be a revealing clue. Andrew holds the enviable title of Digital Nomad who gets to tweet, video, and blog about his adventures for National Geographic Traveler, where wanderlusters try to decipher the riddles and clues of his upcoming expeditions. My assumption is when he’s not tweeting or speaking, he’ll be pulled in many directions because everyone knows who he is and will maybe get two minutes of his time.  This saddens me, because I would really like to have an in depth conversation with him on how he made it into the industry and how he got the attention of  Traveler. As someone breaking into the industry, how do I go about it? How do I make it while still being able to pay my rent?  Rather, is it possible to juggle an assignment from a publication like Traveler while still holding onto a full time job? (for instance, if I took a leave of absence).  I’d also like to know which destination he feels is under-rated. The great thing about Andrew is that he’s chock full of knowledge on a variety of topics. I would love to talk to him about indie music and compare bands (he wrote a great post on the indie music scene in Melbourne).   My idea: Please do a slideshow of your Bus2Antarctica trip or do a joint slideshow with Pam Mandel (who just went to Antarctica).  I think this will subside those asking him questions and would be a very popular session.

One of Peter’s stunning images in Morocco.  Photo:  Peter West Carey

10. Peter West Carey (@pwcarey) Peter is the all encompassing camera man. He’s the guy you wish would be behind the counter at your local camera store assisting you with such an important investment piece.  Because this is the issue: most guys behind the counter WON’T tell you how to use your camera. My other pet peeve is that most sales guys only let you play with the camera for about 10 minutes before you drop over $500 for a piece of equipment.  (The exception to this rule is the wonderful Pietro of Wolf Camera in San Francisco.)  Peter has a  FREE guide on his site called 31 Days To Better Photography.  He helps you get around the tricky situations you have with the camera from white balance to capturing waterfalls. I know he’ll be speaking at the conference, so we’ll be able to get questions in. I just hope I can geek out with him over my Olympus E-PL2. Maybe he’ll even do a little photo workshop in and around Vancouver that he does in other cities?  Plus, I’m betting he is as witty and cheeky as he is on his site.

Are you going to to TBEX? Who do you want to meet?  And of course, come find me!  I’m a chatty Cathy about the following places and subjects: New York, Paris, Toronto, Buenos Aires (it’s on my list), Barcelona, food, architecture, travel literature, spelling and punctuation, breaking into the industry,  blogging vs. journalism, travel magazines and the people that write  for travel magazines.  This is really a segue to converse about Andrew McCarthy.  What’s your favorite Andrew McCarthy story? Discuss.

Travel Peeps I Want to Meet (5-7)

19 May

Twitter is a small world.  Especially in the travel blogging community.  Let’s face it. Some of us are addicts. Some of us may spend more time on Twitter than we do with our own family or friends.  I may be one of those people. As the Twitter motto is:  follow your interests. Through this motto, I have been fortunate to have met some really amazing bloggers out there who are passionate about travel and life.  I haven’t met most of the people on this list in real life. The ones that I have met in real life, I wish I had a chance to speak with further, mainly because I’m genuinely curious and admire them in some way. Otherwise, I am hoping I can learn from their successes in some way to further better myself.  Bonus: They’re going to be at TBEX  (for those who don’t know, this is a conference called the Travel Blog Exchange) in Vancouver in June.  Holiday! Celebrate!

Want to know what a Travel Blogger looks like? Exhibit A: Pam Mandel at home in Seattle. It’s a Nerd’s Eye View, non?!  Photo: Pam Mandel

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