Lately, there’s been a lot of discussion about one of the newest advertising tactics in the journalism world: native advertising.
You might have seen it yourself, if you’ve felt the need to click one of BuzzFeed’s “10 Reasons Why You Should…” list articles.
You’ll have a series of copyright-infringing GIFs, generally stolen in some capacity from other websites, and, at the top of the article, you’ll see that it’s sponsored by Jack Daniels. Or JetBlue. Or whatever.
The idea is that people reading the article will start thinking BuzzFeed isn’t the only company that can put together some fun GIFs to help people avoid reading anything meaningful. That association will, in turn, benefit the brand.
The BuzzFeed / brand relationship is a dubious one at best, but investors are convinced – that’s part of the reason that BuzzFeed just got another $50 million in funding. The real issue for people, though, is that other publications – like The New York Times – are publishing “native advertising” content, too.
This is turning out to be a huge revenue generator for news publications and a great way to build brand awareness for the company. But when branded content starts flowering in every crevice of a news outlet’s website, it becomes more difficult to decide which is good to eat and which is a poisonous, subjective berry.
In the summer of 2010, when I started my first job, I listened to about six hours of Pandora a day. The ads were an annoyance, but I sat through them because I loved the songs that Pandora found for me.
I knew that there was such a thing as “Pandora One,” but, like most millennials, I scorned the idea of paying for something I knew I could get for free.
Yet Pandora persisted. Hours and hours a day, it brought me amazing bands I never would have otherwise heard.
A few months in, I took the $32-a-month plunge. And I’ve never looked back.
Why did I buy something that was so optional? More importantly, how can any creative person ever hope to get compensated in the age of the optional purchase?
Since around October, I’ve been talking a lot about the future of books and the future of eBooks.
I’ve made a guide about how writers should blog in a way that gets people to read your stuff.
I’ve also talked about how building a platform and an audience is crucial to getting anyone to actually buy your eBook in the first place.
It’s time to put my hypothesis to the test.
I wrote a lot of this in my car, because I have a smartphone, so now I can talk sternly to it and, magically, those incantations are turned into text.
I’ve tried this method to write blog posts before, but it never quite works because swerving through rush hour traffic isn’t the most conducive environment for good writing. If you can call speaking into a phone “writing.”
But this is my experiment, because I recently read a blog post proclaiming that the “days of working on a blog post in drafts for the last week” are now dead.
That’s right. The final draft is dead. So what does that mean?
Don’t feel like you’re out-of-the-loop if you haven’t heard of Google+ — practically no one uses it.
Sure, there are some reports about a surge of users for Google’s social network, but that’s mostly people who have been tricked into using it by accidentally clicking the wrong button on YouTube or Gmail.
The average Google+ user spends 12 minutes a month on the site.
Google knows that, but they’ve found a new way to get people to use Google+.
This year, Google is going to create a whole new kind of category: social search.
That means if you’re a writer or a blogger without a Google+ profile, your stuff will never, ever, show up in Google’s results. Ever.
My friend, Tim, had a problem with search engine optimization (SEO).
The problem, as with most things on the internet, was with Google.
He’s in Doze, an up-and-coming band that recently released their first EP.
No matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t find Doze using Google. Pages upon pages of other imposter bands with the word “Doze” showed up instead, whether you typed “Doze band” or “Doze band boston.”
So, I decided to help him out.
Here’s how we got Doze to be the first three results in “Doze band boston” and the fourth result for “Doze band” in one week:
When it comes to blogging, nothing is ever easy.
Creative people who are blogging as a way to show off their work have it even harder.
You can upload as many art pieces and short stories as you want, but it seems almost impossible to get the kind of traffic you want.
In many cases, your pieces may get no traffic at all.
So, let’s fix that.