Social media continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Multi-national corporations, local restaurants, and retailers of all sizes are setting up Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and blogs to engage their audiences and hopefully increase their sales. This is all good stuff!

But, what I’m seeing over and over again are businesses that have gone through the efforts to start social media campaigns, only to give up after a short while. I’ve even happened upon several large-scale companies that have all but abandoned their Facebook pages and blogs. What’s going on here?

I think I have one answer. Businesses spend the time and money for the initial setup of their online marketing efforts, but don’t consider the ongoing investment in maintaining them. Social media is not a one- time project! It’s a process, and the longer you keep it going, the more successful it becomes.

Part of developing a social media plan is figuring out who is going to execute it over months and years. If you have someone in-house to do this, then consider yourself lucky, and give them the time to get the work done! If you don’t know who is going to do it, find an outsourced social media provider who can become part of your team to generate the copy and manage the flow.

Neglecting your already established social media efforts is literally akin to paying for a space at a tradeshow and not showing up. There are huge opportunities in social media for those who take the time to generate fresh content and keep their online communities engaged. So, if you haven’t updated your blog in months and have no idea who is “liking” you on Facebook, it may be time to regroup and start again!

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Google Cracks Down on Content Farms

by admin on March 25, 2011

As someone who used to get a considerable amount of her writing assignments from Elance, I was always perturbed by the jobs that were posted for cheap articles. No, I’m not talking $25 or $30 an article. There was always and probably still are jobs out there posted by individuals/companies wanting to pay writers $2.00 to $5.00 per article. What writer in their right/write mind would agree to this? Umm, no one!

Interestingly, there were always providers (usually overseas) who would bid on these jobs. Now, I’m a fast writer who can crank out a 500 word blog post or article in 30 minutes or so if there isn’t a lot of research required. But, you would have to be churning content out at a super hero pace to make any profit if you were getting paid $2.00 per article.

The reality is that the providers who take these jobs are not writing articles. They are spinning them. This means that they are grabbing other writers’ copy and reworking it through an automated spinner to create “new” content. Why would someone want spun articles? For SEO purposes and not much else.

Fortunately, Google is finally cracking down on content farms and their customers that publish unoriginal content by launching a new algorithm update called Farmer.

Now, as a writer who gets paid for producing quality content that is hopefully read and not just used for SEO purposes, I am grateful that Google is shedding some light on this problem.

I frequently have clients who ask about SEO or who are using SEO specialists but don’t understand their real purpose. I always tell them that yes, it is important to figure out keywords that will help your site’s ranking and to update your content frequently. But, where I think I differ from many providers of SEO is that I truly believe that you also need to have quality content. You can’t just put a bunch of nonsensical articles and text on a site and expect to make money from it. You need compelling text, interesting material, and informative articles and posts that will turn a site visitor into a customer. This can’t be done by spinning articles.

If you’re a business owner who is marketing online, good content is now more important than ever. Those who have duplicate, plagiarized, spun content on their sites and blogs are likely to be caught and will drop significantly in their online ranking. And for those who want to improve their rankings, take the time to develop fresh, original content on your site or blog. If you don’t have the time to write your own content? Contact a legit copywriter who can help. Yep, that’s me, but there are lots of others out there too. Just don’t go on Elance and ask someone to write you articles for $2.00 a pop. At the end of the day, you will get you pay for, and that might be a really bad thing in the eyes of Google!

 

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