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How to Start Using Live Video Marketing to Kill Your Competition with Ileane Smith [EP 34 The Blog Chronicles]
What can live video marketing do for a blogger?
Well, besides making them nervous, live video streaming can serve quite a useful purpose for those wanting to market themselves or a product online.
And once you learn just how powerful live video truly is, you see that getting a little nervous is well worth the results.
If you want to learn live video marketing from a real pro who knows her stuff, then you gotta listen to the super sweet and knowledgeable Ileane Smith.
Ileane Smith has a YouTube following of over 5K and recently gave a talk on live video marketing at the #SMMM16 conference. She loves giving her audience live stream video content for many reasons. On this podcsat, you’ll find out how live video can help you promote your product and grow a more loyal audience.
That’s not all you’ll learn on this episode of The Blog Chronicles–you’ll also learn:
–Why you should consider live video streaming over prerecorded video
–The ways live video is better than edited video
–Should you ever go back and edit a live video?
–What technical equipment you need for live video streaming
–What you should do if something goes wrong on a live stream video
–The features and benefits of YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Periscope, Go Live on Twitter, Appear.in
–How to get your mindset ready for live video
–Tips on your video background presentation
–which niches work well with live video streaming
–how blogging has changed Ileane’s life
Ileane is a giver and she really gave a lot of great tips in this interview. Get ready to know A LOT more about live video marketing with the charming Ileane Smith–Enjoy!
Ileane Smith Interview Transcript
( For those who like to read.)
I’m a blogger, podcaster, YouTuber and social media diva (or Social Media Veteran if you like the way that sounds better). True story: I started blogging by accident when I actually thought I was “subscribing” to my daughter Nicole’s first blog. Since then I’m committed to helping others avoid all the mistakes I’ve made along the way. Get one-on-one coaching and exclusive perks when you join my community on Patreon!
Matthew Loomis: Hi Ileane.
Welcome to The Blog Chronicles!
Ileane Smith: Hey Matthew!
Thank you so much for inviting me.
I’m really excited to be here today.
How Important is Live Video for Bloggers?
Matthew Loomis: Excellent!
Today we’re going to be talking about how to get started with live video.
My goal for this Show’s episode is to help bloggers understand what Live video is all about and why they should consider using it to help them achieve their blogging goals.
Now, Ileane, you know a lot about this topic.
Actually, you just recently gave a talk on Live video at Social Media Marketing World Conference and you have provided some great video tutorials about Live video on your website as well.
So let’s dive in!
Ileane Smith: Great!
Well, to get things started off when you mentioned my talk at Social Media Marketing World. I’ve got to say that it was amazing that I got invited by Michael Stelzner.
And there were actually ten sessions out of one-hundred and forty sessions total. There were ten sessions focused primarily on Live video.
Michael realizes and the whole Social Media Examiner crew, they know how important Live video is today.
So I’m hoping that after this conversation folks that haven’t gotten onto the Live video bandwagon will at least consider it.
Matthew Loomis: That’s great because I want to learn more as well.
It seems to me that six months ago everyone got excited about it and then everyone kind of backed off from it. It seems that just recently it’s kind of coming back.
Did you notice that?
Ileane Smith: Well, because I’m in the community of Livestreamers.
I have not seen any fall-off at all.
What you might be seeing is that certain apps will wax and wane popularity. For example, a lot of people were very hyped about Periscope for a long time.
Now Twitter is letting you go Live right from Twitter and so that might be confusing to some folks. So they don’t know if they need Periscope… So when Facebook Live was introduced (for those that don’t know Facebook is really an incredible way to get started) then that really made things explode because as we all know everybody’s on Facebook.
I’ve got to say, Matthew, I’ve been preaching the gospel of video and YouTube since 2009 actually when I first got online with my blog.
But I really started going hard on YouTube in 2011.
People have just been turning a deaf ear to me they don’t want to hear anything about video but when Facebook announced the Facebook Live… Everybody is ready to at least experiment with it see if it’s right for them and give it a try.
Matthew Loomis: That’s interesting.
We’re going to get into each of the different platforms here in a moment.
I’m so excited to have you on here today because you are the perfect person to talk about this topic.
Ileane Smith: Thank you!
Why Should Bloggers Prefer Live Video Compared to a Recorded Video?
Matthew Loomis: I think that most people agree that video is an effective form of content.
One that online businesses and bloggers should be using but when you add that word ”Live” It’s like doing the high-wire act without a net.
Livestreaming can be intimidating for some people.
So, Ileane, I want to start with the ”why.”
Why should a blogger consider using Live video when they can just record a video and edit out their mistakes and have more control over what the viewers see.
Why go out on a limb and do live video?
Ileane Smith: Okay.
I’ll give you some statistics.
This one that I want to start off with actually comes from YouTube. This is some of the information that I shared in my presentation at Social Media Marketing World.
I think that we all agree that nobody has more statistics on video than YouTube. Right? According to YouTube viewers watch four times longer on live streams than they do on video on demand.
Matthew Loomis: Oh okay.
Ileane Smith: Okay.
So that alone should pique your interest.
We all want people to consume our content. To spend more time with our content. Right?
So if they’re doing it four times longer (and this is coming from YouTube) then that should be a compelling enough reason for you to at least consider doing it.
Then there was a survey from the folks over at Livestream and 78% of online audiences are already watching video on Facebook Live. 78%. So if you’re not doing Live video on Facebook you’re getting left behind because all of your competition is giving it a try.
Matthew Loomis: I see.
It’s kind of like people are just watching to see where you goof up or see the train wreck I mean…
Ileane Smith: You know that is part of it.
Because here’s the thing we all know with our blogs and just with marketing in general. We all want people to know like and trust us. Right?
We really want them to know love and trust us. So what better way to connect with an audience than when you can look them in the eye and they can look you in the eye.
There’s that connection that speeds up that process of people gaining trust from your audience.
So people do want to have that curiosity factor where ”Oh I’m going to watch this video… Let’s see if she drops the thing she’s holding or the microphone.” Or whatever…
There is a little bit of that intrigue there.
But they also because people tend to really start to like you and be enamored with you. They don’t care if you mess up because they know it’s live there is going to be something that goes wrong.
Either the internet connection or if you’re out and about in the wild and there is a mosquito that flies into your mouth. Whatever…
So people are more forgiving of any mistakes or mishaps that happen but they all know that part of it because that’s real life.
When you meet with your friends when you go out for dinner with your friends there are things that happen. Somebody say’s something awkward… You know somebody doesn’t have money for their part of the bill… Whatever. That’s life.
And this is why Live video is more authentic because everything’s not quite so polished and perfect like it is a pre-recorded video.
Matthew Loomis: Right.
I’m glad you used the ”A” word before me.
It seems that that’s the secret sauce right there. I mean it’s definitely more authentic.
Ileane Smith: Yeah. I mean it’s a buzzword for people.
Sometimes they’re like ”Oh I don’t like that word ”Authentic.”
But really there is nothing else to describe it. I like to say ”keeping it real.”
KEEPING IT REAL!
What Other Value Does Live Video Hold For an Audience?
Matthew Loomis: What are some other besides the authenticity and the excitement factor?
Are there any other reasons why Live video is better than edited video other than the fact that it keeps people on longer?
Ileane Smith: It keeps people on longer.
And there is that real-time engagement and interaction and feedback.
So let’s just say, for example, I have a blog post. I released this blog post and I want to talk about the blog post in my Live video. I can gauge from the audience based on the questions that they ask…
Maybe I want to go over there right now and edit something or add something to that blog post because I’m getting real-time engagement from folks who are telling me or asking me questions.
Or maybe they even have some insights that I didn’t even think of to include.
I can get that right there in real-time and that person is also now part of the process and you’re going to give that person a shout-out, you know what I mean? So, Matthew was on my Facebook the other day and he said that I should include such and such… And so there you go you get the recognition and everybody loves to hear the sound of their name.
So as people are coming into the room you’re welcoming them. You’re saying ”hi” to them. If they’re making really insightful comments you’re calling them out…
And so that’s something that can only happen when you’re LIVE.
Is it Beneficial to Get Personal with Each Person that You Meet Online?
Matthew Loomis: That’s a good point and I’m glad you brought that up.
Because I was going to ask you, is it productive to say ”Hi Tony, Hi Lisa?” I was just curious.
So people actually like that?
Ileane Smith: Alright, here we go.
There are different styles and there are different Livestreamers that have (or Like Michael Stelzner likes to call us) Live video experts that have different points of view on this topic. Okay?
Some folks will say, no matter who comes in I have this message that I want to get across and for the first fifteen-twenty minutes or whatever of the broadcast ”I’m not taking any questions but post your questions there and when I get around to it and at the end when I’m done then I’ll start answering questions.”
That’s not my style. That’s just not me. There is nothing wrong with doing it that way.
I advise folks if they feel more comfortable especially in the beginning when you’re not used to multi-tasking and you don’t want to get thrown off track. Yes, do it that way.
Matthew Loomis: Okay.
Ileane Smith: Me personally, I’ve got my notes next to me.
So if I get off track, I’m going to get back on track.
As my people… See, these are my people. This is my Tribe. Right?
They look to me as being a leader. There is no way I’m going to let Tish or Larry Snow or Fly Away come into the broadcast and I’m not going to say ”HI!”
I don’t care who I’m talking to because that’s just my flow!
So you have to find your own style of broadcast. Try them all. Try both ways. You may find people say ”Oh I don’t like when you do that.”
”Well then, maybe my broadcast is not for you.”
I have one friend I forgot to mention her at Social Media Marketing World. But sometimes you’ve got to edit things down because you only got forty-five minutes. Right?
But there is a girl I wanted you guys to check her out. She’s on Periscope and her name is Tachi. Tachi is a professor and she does what’s called MediaScope. She does it on Periscope and Busker at the same time.
So she’s got two devices there and she’s got two different audiences and she does it every Wednesday night. She stops for both audiences she’s a fantastic amazing multi-caster.
She stops and reads out and answers every single question.
She’ll say so and so is on the Busker side and I’ve got so and so over on the Periscope and they said this about this. And she’s doing the news. She’s doing the media news for the week. And she does it effectively and everybody who’s in that broadcast absolutely loves her.
So you’ve got to find your own style your own flow and your own rhythm.
Just Be Your Self Find Your Own Unique Niche
Matthew Loomis: I like that.
I’ll definitely check her out.
So be yourself but got ahead and experiment and see what works for you.
Ileane Smith: Yeah! What works for you.
Because if you’re going to feel that you’re inadequate or you can’t really perform, the deliver the content appropriately because you have to stop and say ”Hi” to people.
If that doesn’t feel right for you, then don’t listen to anybody who says ”You should do it this way or you should do it that way.”
It’s LIVE video. That’s the point. You’re supposed to be yourself. Right?
Matthew Loomis: Right! Right!
Right on Saturday Night Live
You know Dan Aykroyd didn’t try to be Chevy Chase.
Ileane Smith: Right.
Do You Ever Edit Your Live Videos?
Matthew Loomis: Right.
Ileane, do you ever go back and edit Live video.
Is there any instance where you might want to do that?
Ileane Smith: Absolutely.
And here’s one of the things, I even have a tutorial to show you how to do that.
Matthew Loomis: Oh, cool!
Ileane Smith: Here’s where I do that for the most part.
Well, there are a couple of instances where I do that but on YouTube Live because YouTube is my baby.
I talk about Facebook because I know that’s where people are most comfortable where they know they have the audience. I have an audience on YouTube and so I prefer YouTube Live.
What a lot of people don’t know about YouTube is they have all kinds of tools. One of the tools they have is you can trim off beginnings and endings to your video and the really cool part is you can also cut parts in the middle.
So let’s just say something happens because right where I record like right now I’m in my living room.
And sometimes my daughter will come over and when she comes over she usually has to run and go to the restroom. Right? And this happened one time in the middle of one of my YouTube Lives and it was no problem she never talked to me. But you could hear her going across the floor… clonk clonk clonk…
So it was like I know I’ve got to go back and edit that part out. And all we did was laugh at the fact that she came in so it was really great for the moment and for the folks that were there because everybody knows my daughter.
My daughter, by the way, is Nicole Purvy. She’s a business consultant and all that.
Most of the people who know me and people who are in my tribe know, my daughter. Right? Because they see us all the time. As a matter of fact, she went to Social Media Marketing World with me.
So I was able to go back with the tools in YouTube and just cut that part out. It was only about maybe forty-fifty seconds and I cut that part out.
Now one of the other things that you can do… Let’s say when you go Live on YouTube there weren’t that many people there and you didn’t get that many views. Let’s say you got five views. Okay? So you can…what if you had an intro or an outro you want to add to your videos. Right? One of those snazzy things…
Now guys if you do this, don’t make it more than three seconds long. Okay? But let’s just say you did. You can go into that editor and stitch that intro or that outro onto your video and make a brand new video.
So you’re not worried about losing the views because you only had those three folks there. Right? And you make a brand new video. Those are two of the cases where I edit the live video.
And then the last one is, a lot of times when I’m live on Facebook I’ll download that video and then maybe not necessarily uploaded to YouTube but there is another site I use called Wistia.
That is a place where you can house your videos. I would then sometimes put that up for my patrons over on Patreon.
What Technical Equipment Do You Recommend for Livestreaming?
Matthew Loomis: What technical equipment do you recommend for Livestream?
Ileane Smith: Okay, now.
It depends whether you’re on your phone or on your desktop.
So let’s start with the phone. I had mentioned to you Matthew before we started that normally I would have my Lavalier mic. Now, the Lavalier mic that I use is the Rode Smart Lav Plus. It costs about fifty maybe sixty bucks.
I have all this gear by the way listed on my gear page over on Ileane Smith Dot Com / Gear
I also recommend you have an iPhone.
Now, I’m not an Apple fan girl. Okay? (let’s get that out the way.) But all of the new stuff always comes to iPhone first. For example, even if you’re listening to this weeks or months from now. Right?
Facebook just came out with two-person Facebook Live.
Only works if you and your guest on iPhone.
So I recommend if you have an Android phone. (Not saying get rid of it.) In fact, I have my Android still too. But if you can or if you’re making a decision and maybe you’re just getting into this and you have a dumb phone right now and you going to invest in a phone get an iPhone. Okay? And like I said the Lavalier microphone.
Now, as far as a desktop, no matter what computer you have a Mac or PC. You’re going to want to get this amazing webcam called the Logitech C920.
I also use an external microphone because you don’t want to use your built-in microphone if possible. If all else fails and you can’t afford to get a mic or it hasn’t arrived yet from Amazon.
Go ahead and use the built-in mic but I highly recommend the microphone called the ATR 2100. It’s a USB but you can also plug it into a mixer if you have that kind of system.
Those are the things that I really recommend and a tripod. (Oh yeah. I’m sorry, I forgot to mention that, when you’re on your phone you need a tripod.)
The tripod that you’ll see on my Gear page is only like twelve bucks. You can either sit it on your desk and it extends so you can either collapse it down and sit it on your desk. Or you can extend it like when I’m sitting in one of my chairs and I just have it right here. And you want that to be stable and that tripod gives you that flexibility to be hands-free.
Matthew Loomis: Pretty all of this can be found on Amazon I assume?
Ileane Smith: Yes.
These are all on there. Everything I mentioned is on Amazon. So you should go to the Ileane Smith Dot Com / Gear you’ll see all my Amazon links there and I also have tutorials and behind the scenes to show you what this gear looks like.
What’s the Best Thing to Do If Something Goes Wrong While You’re Doing a Live Video Broadcast?
Matthew Loomis: By the way everything that is mentioned in this interview.
There are links to everything in THE SHOW NOTES. (I just wanted to point that out.)
Ileane, what should you do aside from editing out something?
Let’s just say you wanted to leave that in and something weird happens, what should you do if something goes wrong on your live video like in that moment. Should you try to ignore it, should you point it out… What should you do?
Ileane Smith: Oh yeah.
You can’t ignore it. Right?
We’re keeping it real. Okay? So… and you’ll hear people from even the top pros (or as Michael Stelzner like to say it ”Live video experts.”) He’ll say ”Hey! That’s the beauty of Live video.”
Whenever that happens all you’ve got to do is remember that saying and say ”Hey folks, that’s the beauty of Live video this is real life.”
And everybody will get a kick out of it.
You know, as long as it’s not something really offensive. There was a video that went viral recently where there was a guy who was a reporter and I believe he was somewhere in the U.K. And you know the kids got in the room and then the nanny taped it and the video went viral. And they also even mocked the video and even the priorities of that happening went viral. So it’s okay, it’s okay.
I know that this is one of the things that holds people back. They’re afraid that their production is not going to be perfect.
But there is no perfect. Even in a recorded video there really is no perfect.
People want you to be REAL!
Just think about when you’re watching things. When you’re going on Facebook and you’re seeing Live videos. What doesn’t it entice you? Don’t you get a little excited like ”Oh my friend or this person that I know or that I follow is Live, let me go and see what happens.”
Can You Name Some of the Most Trending Platforms at the Moment?
Matthew Loomis: Yes. Yes.
News Bloopers are the best.
I love those.
Let’s go now and rundown at least some of the top platforms.
I’m not really sure how many are out there. You mentioned one today that I’ve never heard of… Busker?
Ileane Smith: Busker. Yes.
Busker is for folks who are artists.
Primarily folks who are really talented. They could be musicians. They could be people who do some type of drawing or painting. Busker, that’s what it really is, is a person who is a street artist.
And you’ve seen this before where people are standing on the side of the sidewalk or maybe playing a song or something and there’s a hat or their violin case and you throw tips in. That’s what a Busker is.
Matthew Loomis: Oh that’s what that is.
That explains why I haven’t heard of it because I don’t have any talents so…
Ileane Smith: But like I said.
My friend Tachi does the MediaScope.
But she does the multi-casting. So Periscope and Twitter Live are pretty much the same things. There are some features that are a little different.
But I do think eventually Twitter is just going to roll Periscope into just being Twitter Live.
Matthew Loomis: Let me ask you right now since they’re both there.
How do you decide which one to use?
Ileane Smith: Personally.
Twitter and Periscope are not the ones that I gravitate towards.
I went on their yesterday though because I haven’t been on there for a while so I said ”let me go back.” But personally, for me, I find that there are a lot of folks that come on and just want to make not that great comments.
And you know they’re NOT my tribe.
Matthew Loomis: They’re TROLLS!
”TROLL HAVE SMALL BRAIN, TROLL DON’T KNOW HOW TO GIVE NICE COMMENTS!”
Ileane Smith: Yeah!
But I don’t want to discourage folks because Twitter Live is so easy.
It’s really just as easy as Facebook Live. It just depends on where you have your audience and where you feel comfortable.
So you could experiment with either one just as easily. There is not that much difference between the two except just know that it’s very easy to block folks if they come into your Twitter aka Periscope.
So I’ve used them both. I used to truly love Periscope and the I just gravitated like I said back to YouTube.
Now let’s talk about YouTube since that’s my baby.
YouTube just started releasing and giving more people access to going Live from their phone. And the amazing thing about YouTube Live… (and you can also do it from the desktop, guys.)
I’ve got tutorials on all of this stuff. A complete playlist on all the Live streaming platforms.
Matthew Loomis: Links in THE SHOW NOTES.
Ileane Smith: The amazing thing about this YouTube Live piece on your phone is something called SuperChat.
Actually, it’s on the desktop as well.
SuperChat allows people to give you tips. This is what I kind of said about Busker because Busker has that option too. They can give you tips on Busker and I think I forgot to mention that earlier.
YouTube SuperChat is even better because the tips can range from $1 to $500 so you can be on a Live broadcast and here’s the benefit for the person that’s watching. Let’s just say you’re one of those big YouTubers and you’ve got a big following.
Or your topic. You’re talking about a trending topic and YouTube has sent a bunch of folks over there to your Live broadcast.
When there are a lot of folks in the chat it goes by pretty quickly, you guy’s have seen this on Periscope I’m sure and even on Facebook.
If someone gives you a minimum of $5 that pins their comment or question to the top of the stream for ( I think it’s) three minutes. They give you $10 it pins it for six minutes and it goes up in increments like that.
So this is also a way guys for you to make a small investment and get noticed and recognized in the audience. Okay? You can also use Live video from being in the audience. Even those folks that say ”Oh I’m so afraid I can’t get on camera.”
I know there are some folks like that out there, I’m not mocking you guys I’m just letting you know that there is still a way that you can participate. Alright!
Prior to you getting up the nerve and the gumption to get on camera go to these Live broadcasts and go and leave insightful comments. And ask questions that the broadcaster is going to want to read out.
Because remember everybody’s not like me everybody’s not going to stop and read out every single question. Right?
So let’s just say that there is this big brand or something like that. It’s in your niche and you want your name to get called out. Go and leave a question but it’s got to be a question that you know this person wants to answer. Right?
Matthew Loomis: That’s right.
Ileane Smith: The on YouTube all you have to do is go into your pocket you know $10.
Since I started going on YouTube Live and getting the Super Chats, I made more money than I ever made doing the Adsense alone on YouTube.
So it’s amazing.
Matthew Loomis: Fascinating.
Ileane Smith: I’ve been going Live a lot on YouTube.
What Other Features Does Facebook Live Have?
Matthew Loomis: Is there anything else about Facebook Live that you want to talk about?
Ileane Smith: There are third-party apps that integrate with Facebook Live.
Remember I mentioned earlier that if two people are on iPhones (and this is not rolled out to everybody yet.) But if two people are on iPhones you can have two people on-screen for your Facebook Live.
However, on the desktop there are a bunch of third-party apps that I really love called BeLive T.V and that will allow you to do interviews and go Live. I really like this one because there are a few others that don’t let you go into groups. But BeLive lets you go into groups.
We could do another whole new episode talking about the difference between your access to folks on your Facebook page versus your Facebook groups.
And the groups right now is where it’s at!
Are You Currently Doing Instagram Live?
Matthew Loomis: Ileane are you familiar with Instagram Live.
Are you using that?
Ileane Smith: Oh Yeah. Absolutely!
Instagram Live is good.
Now right now you can download the broadcast afterward. However, you won’t get the comments and all that stuff within your broadcast.
So I have a little trick where I have a video (I got videos about all this stuff guys) to show you how to record it if you’re on a Mac. It only works on Mac because it uses QuickTime. You can record all that if you want to keep all the hearts and all that to repurpose it on Facebook or repurpose it on YouTube.
You’ll have all those hearts and comments there and it won’t look so awkward when you’re saying ”Hi! So and so how is it going, how was that thing last night?”
Because it will all be there in place.
Matthew Loomis: Okay.
Is Meerkat still around?
Ileane Smith: No.
Meerkat shut down months ago.
Matthew Loomis: That’s what I thought. Okay.
What about Appear Dot In?
Ileane Smith: I use it every day.
Now, this is another thing that I want to stress to folks and I’m glad you put Appear Dot In up.
Every time you go Live you don’t have to think about numbers. I’ve had fifty people there. I’ve had five hundred people there. I’ve had five thousand people there.
Sometimes you just want to have two or three people. Maybe you just want to have a mastermind group. Maybe it’s a strategy session. Maybe you’re just meeting with your team.
Appear Dot In, is fantastic!
You can do screen sharing. They can be on their phone. Either Android or iPhone.
And you can all come into what’s really a private chat. It is what it is. Lime I said I use it every day, we have a group called the Work and Focus group. It’s a small group it’s only about thirteen people in our Facebook group. We’ll go every day and we’ll say ”What were you working on today?”
We hold each other accountable and we share tips.
Matthew Loomis: That sounds really good for masterminds and teams.
Ileane Smith: Guess what?
I have a video that shows you how to use it.
Matthew Loomis: And guess what?
It’s in THE SHOW NOTES!
Ileane Smith: Yeah.
I put everything into one playlist so you won’t have to jump around to different places. I put them all in one playlist.
What Other Platforms are Helpful?
Matthew Loomis: Awesome Ileane.
Are there any other platforms that we haven’t mentioned?
Ileane Smith: There is another one that’s good for Facebook that’s called SmileTime.
The only thing about SmileTime is that it doesn’t go into the groups but you can use it on your profile and on your pages.
SmileTime is a pretty good platform for Facebook Live and you will see all the Facebook comments as well as the fact that SmileTime is also a platform. So people can be in your broadcast on SmileTime.
Or they can be watching it on Facebook and you’ll see all those comments get integrated. You can’t really screen share but you can share images. You can upload an image if say you wanted to do a presentation you just upload each image individually.
You know two or three slides you wouldn’t want to do a twenty-page presentation. That would just be too much-moving things around. You could get five people or four people on one screen at the same time.
How Would You Prepare Yourself Mentally Before Making a Live Video?
Matthew Loomis: Sounds great.
Ileane lets talk about the mindset for a moment.
I’d like for you to help us with this.
How do you get the right mindset before you go Live, what are some things people can do?
Ileane Smith: Matthew, you’ve been on my YouTube channel, haven’t you?
Because I have a video – The Right Mindset Before You Go LIVE.
One of the things you want to do guys especially in the beginning you’re going to be nervous. It’s OKAY, right? So get that in your head first of all. Okay?
You’re going to be nervous so you’ll want to eliminate things we know could possibly go wrong.
For example –
MAKE SURE YOUR INTERNET CONNECTION IS FAST ENOUGH
Your internet connection. You are going to want to check that, and there is a tool called BetaSpeedTest Dot Net. Make sure you have at least eight up and eight down. Don’t worry about it. You’ll see it’s megabits per second. You want to have at least eight.
(I have Verizon. I have files so I’ve got like eighty. But I’ve talked to some folks that have had like one hundred up and one hundred down.)
But if you only have like five or if you’re on your phone because they have that app for your phone.
You may not want to do it if you only have three or five then you may not want to go Live in that area where ever it is that you’re out and about.
So that’s one thing.
LET EVERYONE YOU KNOW WHEN YOU’RE DOING A LIVE BROADCAST
Tell everyone. Tell your family. Like I tell my folks ”I have an interview today.” So hopefully my daughter won’t come traipsing in here.
So these are things that you need to do to help you get past the nerves. Right?
You can practice by yourself. When you go on Facebook you can use Facebook and just send it to yourself. There is a setting there. There is an option you want to go Live just to your friends or to the public or to a group or to your self.
Now you’re feeling a little bit more confident. Okay? (That’s all parts of mindset.)
WHAT IS YOUR GOAL FOR YOUR BROADCAST?
Next – You want to think about, what is my goal for this broadcast? If I’m going on here talking am I going to talk about what the dog ate last night? No.
You probably have this goal that you want to get traffic or you want to build your list or you want people to watch your video.
Or you just want to prove your thought leadership. Okay? Maybe you just want to go on there and riff about something that’s going on in your industry. Right?
So when you have your goal in mind… You see this is why when you’re saying ”Hi” to people when they’re coming in and out, it’s not going to throw you off your game. Because you remember ”this is what my broadcast is about today.”
No matter what before I get off here and I say ”Bye” to everybody I’m going to reinforce the fact… and this is where your call to action comes in…that ”Hey sign up for my list” or ”watch that video.” Okay?
MAKE A CHECKLIST FOR YOURSELF UNTIL YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH YOUR AGENDA
So when you have that stuff. Maybe you want to make an outline for yourself. Or a checklist like I mentioned about the internet connection.
Maybe you want to have a checklist so by the third or the fourth or the twentieth time you do this you won’t have to look at the checklist anymore. Right?
You won’t even have to remember that my goal in this broadcast is to get people to read that new blog post I just issued. You won’t even have to remember that.
Because this is what I mean when I say MINDSET. You won’t be nervous you’ll have your goals already laid out. You’ll be able to communicate. You don’t always have to go Live. Right? But there is a thing about going Live that you also want to have that engagement from your people.
You want to be able to tell people ahead of time ”Hey I’m going Live Tuesday at six or whatever so that you know you’ll already have at least a few people there.
All this helps you relax and keeps you focused on what your goal is.
The more you go Live you more you’re going to say ”Hey that particular broadcast I wasn’t trying to get people to do anything I was just glad that they came and hung out with me.” And that’s going to be okay too.
So this is all like I said part of the mindset where you don’t look at it and say ”Oh I’m going Live.”’You’re looking at this as if to say ”Oh this is just what I do.”
This takes time guys. But I want you to know that this is how you start off. With your checklist. With having your notes in front of you and it’s OKAY, JUST BREATHE.
Matthew Loomis: Ileane you strike me as an extrovert.
I’m just curious.
Do you know anybody personally that’s an introvert that’s tearing up Live video?
Ileane Smith: You know, most of them.
A lot of the folks that I follow will say that they are introverts.
In fact, I was just listening to an interview that Michael Stelzner… you know I’m a big fan of podcasting and Michaels Stelzner’s podcast is one that I highly recommend.
Right now he’s doing a lot of interviews with the folks that were speakers at the conference. And so Alex Khan, (I met him for the first time) is someone that started on Periscope. But the point that I am listening to in the podcast. He was talking about how he was afraid to get on cam.
He had never done it and he’s got over two hundred thousand followers on Periscope. In just the two years since Periscope came out.
He was shy and introverted and all of that. And he just saw it as a great way to connect with folks.
Matthew Loomis: Alex Khan?
Ileane Smith: Yeah. K H A N and A L E X.
And he is extremely tall and extremely handsome, ladies. (If there are ladies listening to this.)
Matthew Loomis: I know there is. Okay.
Ileane Smith: A very very nice gentleman.
But you know there has been a lot of folks that Michael’s been interviewing and really all of the speakers that talks about Live video. I’m probably one of the few that will say… Oh, and Brian Fanzo was another one who probably would say ”No I was never introverted never really been shy.”
Matthew Loomis: So the majority you find actually are introverts?
That should give the introverts out there some hope.
Ileane Smith: Yes absolutely.
I’ll give you another great example.
Amy Porterfield. My gosh, I’ve been following her since way back when she only talked about Facebook.
Now she’s not just talking about Facebook. Webinars is her big thing.
She hated video. She hated looking at herself on video. She hated being on video. I follow her podcast and it’s been a journey like she has had to force herself to get on camera.
But now she’s doing Live video all the time and she say’s ”I still don’t like it guys.” But she does it because she knows it gets results.
Matthew Loomis: Her audience appreciates that.
And likes her even more probably because she’s so transparent with that.
Ileane Smith: Absolutely.
It’s funny because our talk was at the same time because there were ten other sessions at the same time as mine. And my daughter, I mentioned my daughter earlier Nicole.
Nicole is a big fan of Amy and my daughter also has her own podcast. My daughter is a big fan of Amy so when she found out that Amy’s session was at the same time as mine she looked at me and I said ”don’t even try it, sister.”
And it’s so funny because after my session was over, we were kind of like ”we don’t know where we’re going now we don’t know what’s next.” because mine was just done and it was so great. Right?
We were just walking down the halls of the convention center and bam! There was Amy Portefield taking pictures with folks that had just left her session and so we all got to stand together and take pictures. And that was so nice.
Matthew Loomis: That’s cool!
Ileane Smith: It was really cool.
Because we literally did not know where we were going then.
I don’t know we didn’t look at the agenda past my session. Right?
How Do You Set the Best Scene for Your Video Presentation?
Matthew Loomis: Right.
Ileane let’s go onto the back grounds of your video.
I want to ask you when it comes to the setting or the stage so to speak.
What are the do’s and dont’s as far as the visual presentation?
Ileane Smith: Okay.
Mine I keep very simple.
You guys know I like to keep it real. Right?
I’m in my living room so I’m not trying to pretend that I’m outside in front of a brick wall. Because I have a brick wall in my living room. Okay?
But I do see people do that. They have things set up like they’re on set, a recording studio. About six months ago I jus got up and said ”mmm, I’ve got some paint left over from the kitchen remodel.”
So I just painted this wall white. I made sure I have good lighting. I actually have a window over to my left but a lot of the times when I’m recording the sun’s not out. I really have two lights on behind my computer so when I’m at my desktop. And then I move them around when I mount my phone up on the tripod when I go live on Instagram or when I’m doing it on my phone.
It’s always important to have that lighting shining down on you.
Even when you’re outside guys and there is something that’s going on it’s like ”I just want to be here.” I’m at this concert or I’m at this festival. Make sure that the sun or wherever the lighting is, is behind your phone. And facing on you. You don’t want the light blaring into people’s eyes who are watching your broadcast.
So those are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind. Of course, you don’t want to have a cluttered background.
Then there are folks that put up that green screen. They put up the green screen and hide all their background or they put up some kind of drop cloth I should say because a green screen is usually used in a recorded video.
A lot of the times even though people have that green screen there even though they go Live you see the green screen in the back. A lot of people use different colours. I’ve seen people use a black drop if they know they have a messy background.
The point is to just cover up if you do have a messy background. Like I say just keep it real but at the same time, you don’t want to go too real.
People are talking about 360 video. I’m like ”not me I don’t want you seeing what’s on the other side.”
Matthew Loomis: That means you’ve got to clean the whole house.
Ileane Smith: Exactly.
So just keep that stuff in mind.
You want the focus to be on you. Even though it’s a talking head video you know what I mean, you don’t want people wondering ”what is that over there on her shelf is that a cat or…?”
Matthew Loomis: I noticed some people like to have bookshelves behind them.
Or a wall with a bunch of pictures or even their logo or their awards and things.
Ileane Smith: Sue B Zimmerman she’s really good for having and meeting folks and giving them those Hashtag plaques.
I’ve met her too she’s amazing.
And that’s cool if you have a setup like that. My setup doesn’t allow me enough room behind me. So I’m not going to say ”Oh man I can’t do it because I can’t put my bookshelf behind me.”Guys stop whining and suck it up!
Matthew Loomis: That’s right.
Ileane Smith: Try your best.
Even if you don’t have the drop cloth and you know it’s messy.
Don’t let that stop you. Get started because the longer you wait the faster everyone is moving past you. It’s like we are early adopters as folks that are already doing it. But everybody has access to it now with Facebook Live. Everybody’s going to be doing it this time next year.
Everybody’s going to be doing it.
Matthew Loomis: What do you think about people doing it outside?
Ileane Smith: Just be mindful.
You need to have the level ear mic like I mentioned.
But that’s not good if you’re going to have other people on cam with you because then you’re going to need your ear buds. Okay?
So I have the older i5 the iPhone 6 the other iPhones 7 they’re not good. I listened to a couple of podcasts of people and they were in their studios and it wasn’t good. So those don’t work.
You need to have the adapter or whatever somehow to plug-in you iPhone. Ear buds will work or if you have an Android phone those ear buds will work but if you can and if you’re on-screen by yourself. the Lavalier mic.
Here’s why guys. If you don’t you just use your regular microphone on your phone it’s going to pick up the wind. Or the people in the room. Let’s say you’re at a restaurant with all the clatter and chatter people are not going to hear you.
Audio is extremely important for your broadcast, it really is. So keep that in mind. Now let’s just say you can’t you’ve just got to capture this moment. Then just keep it short. Keep it like five minutes like ”guys I’ve just got to show you this, this is so amazing great fantastic.” I don’t know what…something coming down the street and it’s making a lot of noise but you’ve just got to capture it.
Oh like with drones. There is drone footage. Right? Yeah, there is going to be noise. Okay? And I know a lot of folks are using Live video with their drones. My friend Robert is doing it, he’s got one of those Mavic Pros.
Keep those videos short.
Matthew Loomis: Ileane are there any niches in particular that work well with Livestream?
Ileane Smith: Actually I think most do.
Especially if it’s a visual like food or fashion or art. (Like I mentioned earlier.)
Those things really lend themselves for Live video or something that may be scientific. But there are some that you may not want to experiment with Live video. Like regulated industries. Or you have to think of for example banking.
Or you have to think about a way around it.
You’re not going to show behind the scenes. Right? Because you can’t do that. So you’re going to have to be creative. It can be done. Find someone who is in your industry who is doing it and see what kind of creative things they are coming up with.
That’s my recommendations there.
What’s the Best Advice for When You’re Getting Trolled While Doing a Live Video?
Matthew Loomis: That sounds good.
Before you go… I’m glad you brought up the trolls because I want to ask you.
What should somebody do if they’re getting trolled in the middle of a Live video?
Ileane Smith: Every app that I know of has a block feature.
Youtube has it. Facebook has it. And Twitter and I bet more people click on that block feature in Twitter than they do on the Go Live button.
I’ve got, to be honest with you, I have never had to block someone on YouTube. I know YouTube has had a bad rap over the years about trolls. I have never had that problem.
I went onto Twitter yesterday like I said I was on there for seventeen minutes and I blocked ten people. There’s always a block so make yourself familiar with where that block feature is. It’s usually something that you have to swipe up or tap on that person who left that comment or whatever then you can block.
Or let’s just say you’re on Facebook and your ex-boyfriend or your ex-girlfriend and you’re like ”Oh I want them blocked!” Usually, you just tap on that person and it usually gives you that option there to block them.
Matthew Loomis: So you don’t recommend acknowledging them.
Or getting in any discussion normally?
Ileane Smith: You don’t even have to tell your audience that, that person was there.
Matthew Loomis: Right.
Ileane Smith: Like when I was blocking folks on Twitter.
It’s probably still on I didn’t take it down so if you go to my Twitter you’ll see it.
I didn’t even tell people. After awhile I did because my friends were in there. I even said to my friend Tish and there was another guy there whom I had just met who was being very cordial and I said ”you know what guys I’m going over onto YouTube Live” and that’s exactly what I did.
My YouTube Live was amazing.
If you have a different experience on Twitter and Periscope, it’s okay. I’m not saying to folks don’t use Twitter or don’t use Periscope because I saw a lot of trolls. It could be just the time of day that I’m going. I haven’t spent a whole lot of time experimenting and trying to overcome that feature.
I just go where I really want to go which is YouTube and I don’t mind doing Facebook like I said I know my groups are on Facebook. So of course, I’m not seeing trolls because I know everyone in the groups.
Matthew Loomis: Yeah.
Ileane Smith: That’s another safe place.
So guys if you want to start practicing.
After you start practising by yourself and get comfortable. Now the next thing you want to do is go into one of your groups. If you’re not active on groups then find one.
Search for a group where maybe some of your friends are or ask your friends and then go into that group Live. Then you don’t have to worry about especially if you’re friends with the admin of the group you won’t have to worry about trolls and all that kind of stuff.
When you’re first going Live we don’t want you to have this bad experience that makes you say ”No I don’t want to do that, I don’t like it.” We don’t want that. Right?
Matthew Loomis: Right.
Ileane Smith: We want you to say ”Okay that wasn’t so bad maybe I could do that again.”
Matthew Loomis: That’s the goal!
Ileane Smith: And you will.
You’ll absolutely love it!
Guys, I encourage you, when you see the types of connections you can make. I tell you when I said I know this about 70% of people who were at Social Media Marketing World. Guess where I met them? On Live video!
Michael Stelzner knew who I was. We had talked before but guess where we became friends? On Live video.
Somebody asked me ”Did you have to apply to speak at Social Media World?” No. I got a DM from Michael Stelzner saying ”I’d like to officially invite you to speak at Social Media Marketing World.” Because we developed a relationship on Live video.
If you’re listening to this now let me just say this…My name is spelt unusually. Right? Ileane. Social Media World were all walking around with badges because you forget people’s names. Right? But when you see my name a lot of times people think it’s LeeAnn and I’ve had that happen many many times.
But at Social Media Marketing World, guess what everybody that I knew said when they saw me? Ileane…All knew me. And I promise you it’s because of Live video.
Matthew Loomis: Wow.
So much good stuff on Live video Ileane.
I’m so glad that you came on and shared this with us today
Ileane Smith: It was my pleasure, Matthew.
Honestly, my goal is to really help folks.
I don’t want to see people get stuck. I don’t want people to feel intimidated by Live video or even just video on demand. Okay? I want to see people exceed online.
I don’t want you to say ”I don’t know where to go and I don’t know who to turn to!”
So I know Matthew is going to ask. ”Where can people get in touch with me?”
Matthew Loomis: Yeah, absolutely.
Ileane Smith: The easy way to connect with me on Twitter.
I l e a n e (see I’ve turned it into a song so you won’t forget.) @ I l e a n e
Then also my website Ileane Smith Dot Com / Gear
Go to my gear page. You’ll want to see all of my Live video tutorials here – Ileane Smith Dot Com / Live
How Blogging Has Changed Ileane Smith’s Life!
Matthew Loomis: Awesome.
And again all of these links mentioned are in THE SHOW NOTES.
Ileane, I want to close off today with a question that I ask all my guests. You’ve been blogging for many years. I mean just in general and not just video blogging. You’ve been blogging for a while.
Ileane Smith: Yes. Since 2009. Yes.
Matthew Loomis: 2009, okay.
Ileane, let me ask you this.
How has blogging changed your life?
Blogging gave me a voice!
Now, remember that I said that I’ve never been introverted? I wasn’t but I didn’t really have a platform to express my thoughts. To be able to help people. To be able to connect with people.
But when I started blogging and I realised that I could put a message out there that anybody in the world could find. I knew that was something that I wanted to do.
So guys I really want to encourage you to keep putting your message out there and keep touching and impacting people’s lives.
Matthew Loomis: Ileane, it’s been a real pleasure talking with you today.
Ileane Smith: Matthew, it’s been my pleasure.
Thank you so much and everyone thank you so much for listening!
The Show Notes
I’ll see you next time!
5 Amateur Hour Mistakes that Hold Back Your Blog Growth
**Another useful yet entertaining guest post from Ryan Biddulph**
You may be beyond disgusted with your blogging growth.
I feel ya. I have been there.
But I need to ask you: who are you *being* to leave those struggles behind?
Example; at 2:45 PM on a Sunday afternoon I have spent the past 5 hours (on a weekend) doing intelligent, effective things to grow my blog. Fielding emails from potential clients. Building connections that lead to eBooks (Woohoo! Just sold another 5 minutes ago). Commenting on blogs. Writing and submitting guest posts.
I am being a pro blogger. I had to *be*/act like a pro blogger well before I saw professional blogger traffic or profits, because the *being* always precedes the results. Always.
If you are stuck being an amateur hour blogger, take heart. You can turn things around really quickly but you may be unaware of these common, struggling or beginning blogger mistakes…or the fact that you may be making them.
Go through this list. Own your mistakes. Turn things around.
Set yourself up to be a pro blogger by releasing on these amateur blogging mistakes.
1: Trying Desperately to Make Each Post Go Viral
One type of blog post reigns supreme on the amateur blogger circuit.
This post centers around how to create a viral blog post. How to hit each and every post out of the park.
Of course, these type of posts are OK to publish once in a while on top level blogs but on amateur blogs they seem to pop up every other post.
This is a common, greedy approach followed by struggling veteran and confused newbie bloggers; they want to squeeze as much traffic from each and every post so they don’t go broke. Or so they can make enough money through small ticket income channels like Adsense, to put food on the table.
Nothing screams “amateur” like trying to manipulate people and conditions with the prime urge to get as much as possible, traffic-wise, through each and every post, because deep down this is driven by a fear-based terror of….NOT ENOUGH!!!!
Here’s how to accelerate your blog’s growth:
- ask your readers what they are struggling with through your email list and social media accounts
- record their answers aka struggles
- build every single one of your blog posts around these struggles
Ask. Receive answers.
Solve problems through every blog post.
This is how to earn a full time income through blogging. Solve a specific problem for your targeted readers.
2:Refusing to Pay for a Domain, Hosting and Theme
Without fail, this is a chief amateur blogger mistake that holds back serious, exponential growth.
The analogy; imagine opening a bagel shop in your bedroom, inside of your parent’s house, with a cheesy looking “Bagelz R Here!!!!” sign on your parent’s front lawn. This is like using free hosting solutions like Blogspot to sell anything online.
Now imagine paying money to rent out a storefront in the highest traffic area in town, where bagel lovers walk and drive, with a large, clear “Biddulph’s Banging Bagels” sign in front of this impressive storefront in a high traffic area of town. This is like buying your domain, hosting and theme.
In your parent’s house bedroom bagel store, you will sell zero to 1 bagels. If your dog is hungry. And has access to money.
In the rented out storefront in the high traffic area you will sell a *ton* of bagels. Or tons. Literally.
Pay for your domain and hosting. Use a premium hosting package. Buy a premium theme. Go straight from jayvee to the pros.
3: Not Treating Your Blog Like a Full Time Brick and Mortar Business
That is a conservative estimate of how much time I have spent on my blog during the past 9 years.
I have worked on it almost every day. Some days, a little less than 8 hours. Many days, beyond 8 hours. Toss in the personal development time I spent getting my mind right for blogging and the number skyrockets.
Amateur hour, junior varsity bloggers believe spending 1-2 hours a day on blogging will yield a full time income.
Serious pro bloggers understand that running a kick butt blog that gets featured on the top blogs and new sites on earth, and that yields a full time income, is like running a thriving brick and mortar business. 8 to 10 hours a day, every day, doing intelligent, business-building, sometimes uncomfortable things to make it work.
4: Putting Monetizing on the Backburner
Are you struggling terribly to make money through your blog? How many income streams have you opened? None?!
1 weird habit cripples aspiring bloggers; backburnering monetization. Or, putting off opening income streams until next week, or month, or year. Meanwhile, financial struggles mount. All while you dawdle about monetizing, explaining why you feel it’s a bad idea because you believe your readers will be annoyed at the fact you actually want to earn money through your blog.
Begin monetizing from Day 1 as a blogger. Even if you don’t open an income stream on your blog learn the in’s and out’s of 1 income stream from your newbie days. Add 1 income stream every 3-6 months. Monetize. Prosper.
Monetizing intelligently adds credibility to your blog. Raise a few eyebrows. Write an eBook. Exit Amateur Hour to head toward the Blogging Big Time.
5: Blogging about any Topic that Interests You
Have you ever met a successful lawyer who’s also a doctor who’s also a CEO of a technology company who’s also a professional basketball player?
If not – and on planet earth, nobody has ever mastered all of these disciplines simultaneously – why do you think you can know blogging better than Darren Rowse, making money online better than John Chow, how to be a digital nomad blogger better than Ryan Biddulph (weird 3rd person reference) and how to inspire folks better than Tony Robbins?
Specialization is the great secret to human success. Offline. Online.
The only way to become a pro blogger is to do 1 thing really, really, really well.
What tips can you add to this list?
Ryan Biddulph owns the website Blogging From Paradise. He’s a blogger, author and world traveler who’s been featured on Richard Branson’s Virgin Blog, Forbes, Fox News, Entrepreneur Dot Com and Neil Patel Dot Com. He has written and self-published 126 bite-sized eBooks on Amazon. Ryan can help you build a successful blog with the 11 Fundamentals of Successful Blogging Audio Course.
The post 5 Amateur Hour Mistakes that Hold Back Your Blog Growth appeared first on Build Your Own Blog.
Three Ways Your Brand's Visual Identity Can Win (or Lose) New Customers [Infographic] What do your brand’s colors say about your company? Check out this infographic for tips on creating a visual identity to help your brand stand out and win customers. Read the full article at MarketingProfs
Bored With Brainstorming? Try These Five Creativity Boosters
Tired of brainstorming? It works if done right, but it’s not the only way to shake loose creative ideas. Here are 5 effective ways to uncover core brand elements, reframe concepts for stronger appeal, generate fresh approaches–and unravel other marketing and communications problems. Read the full article at MarketingProfs
7 Simple Tips To Make Your Blog More User-Friendly For Your Readers
**This is a guest post from Blogging Coach David Boozer**
SEO or, search engine optimization is still important today. As a matter of fact, today we call a part of our best SEO practices making our blog more user-friendly.
The reason I mention SEO here is the fact that many of the most practiced user-friendly blogging strategies and practices are based on using good SEO.
Making your blog more user-friendly is a must today, period. If you don’t, well, you could be missing out on some great traffic, and conversion of that traffic!
Make your navigation simpler.
Like a ship on the sea, or a hiker in the woods of my beloved Pacific Northwest, good navigation can keep you alive, and bad navigation can get you hurt, or possibly worse.
Navigation matters, even on your blog. It can be the maker or breaker of your website and blog, your business and your brand.
How? Well, the main job of a good website and blog is to generate traffic and convert it. And how it does that is through building authority and trust. Without them, well, like I said above, it could kill your business here.
Navigation allows not only search engines to follow links to other pages, and other blog posts, navigation is for people first. It is here for me and you to get the information we want or need easier, simpler.
Besides my own simple navigation here on DavidBoozer.Com, here is Darren Rowes’ blog, notice how simple the navigation is?
No matter how much content you have, or currently do not have, plan for it, plan on it. Making your navigation simpler now will save you a massive headache later.
Besides the navigation bar, there are three other important aspects of WordPress that helps new and professional users of this platform narrow down and make it easier for our readers, new and old, find what they are looking for, and they are:
- Search box
Each is amazingly simple to use, and as far as categories and tags are concerned, it is good for search engine optimization as well.
Categories are like general subjects, multiple subjects that cover the main topics of your niche. Tags, of course, would be more specific in nature. A review of fly fishing rods may follow this simple set of best practices:
The main category for that kind of blog post would be “fly fishing equipment,” and tagged with “fly fishing rods.” This would be a simple, yet perfect example.
As for the search box, well, click here to see it on my sidebar, this helps people like you and me find specific information as well.
As far as the tags and categories are concerned, well, that is what the search box will inherently use to find the answers to those queries asked within your website and blog.
And if you are wondering, yes, you can use categories or tags in your navigation. Personally, I would not use a tag as much as I would consider a good category. Travel blogs, these types of niche blogging sites use categories within their navigation, and rightly so.
That is another tip, depending on your niche will depend upon if you need categories in your navigation bar in the first place. However, you need something, and the typical goto’s are; home, about, blog, mission statement or services page, and a call to action (landing page).
Fonts, font size, and your colors.
I hate white font on black background, and yes, unfortunately, we still see this today. Why? I have no idea, I guess some people think they are a bit more artsy-fartsy than others I suppose.
The problem with that whole thing is the fact it hurts our eyes!
Usability factors and having a user-friendly website and blog is part of the ranking factors for search engines today. And how can Google and other search engines tell if people are not thrilled with your blog? Easy, your bounce rate.
A higher bounce rate means your website and blog is not appealing, whether that is the content itself or the look and feel they cannot judge, but we can as the searchers, readers, content consumers, if you will.
One of the major reasons people come and go within seconds of being on a website is the readability factor.
On a personal note, I am a huge fan of StudioPress and Solo Pine as far as WordPress designed themes I like are concerned. I went with StudioPress for Blog By The Sea, however, I was not a fan of the original font color or type, so with a little CSS help from my friend Todd, well, we got it to where you would most like it, I know I do.
It was too light and too small for me, so I enlarged the font, and darkened it a shade, I am happy now. And guess what? Yes, I even ASKED people which font they liked the most, and what you see is what was most popular.
Readability is important, remember, I wear glasses and on my desktop, tablet, or phone, if your font size is too small or too light in color, well, I am gone, and I am guessing you’d be too.
No black backgrounds with white font, follow that one rule, and like those 9 rings in the movie, the rest of the rules will follow.
Loading time = good SEO = success.
3-6 seconds is great, 7-10 and you could be losing traffic and rankings. More than 10 and, well, you might as well hire me to fix the issues now before you make another move.
Load time is important, and you can get a great idea about how fast your site loads via your Google Analytics account or, Pingdom Tools Speed Tester.
Here are a few things you can do right now to better optimize your load time:
- Minimize HTTP Requests: According to Yahoo, 80% of a Web page’s load time is spent downloading the different pieces-parts of the page: images, stylesheets, scripts, Flash, etc. An HTTP request is made for each one of these elements, so the more on-page components, the longer it takes for the page to render.
- Enable Browser Caching: When you visit a website, the elements on the page you visit are stored on your hard drive in a cache, or temporary storage, so the next time you visit the site, your browser can load the page without having to send another HTTP request to the server.
- Optimize Images: Oversized images take longer to load, so it’s important that you keep your images as small as possible. Use image optimizing tools like Shush-It or Force Regenerate Thumbnails.
Yes, there are a few others that are rather important to pay attention to like minifying resources (code) or, reducing server response time, but these 3 above are usually the most common reasons for slow loading pages or blog posts.
Check your load time from time-to-time, never let up on best SEO practices, in the end, they could hurt you, and in a big way! Just look at the new Google Fred algorithm update
Maybe you need a better theme.
While this is always the last choice, it is, however, sometimes, the only choice for making your blog more user-friendly.
Over the last 3 years, we have seen many things change online. No, not the fact that you need a website and blog, or a full web presence period but, we have seen change what that overall presence looks and feels like.
Mobile-friendly themes, like those you can find on StudioPress, are a great answer to most any new website and blog update and overhaul or, redesign if you want the real definition behind it all.
But, when it comes down to most user-friendly issues, making your website and blog not so user-friendly, well, design can be an issue.
Calls to action too hard to find? Navigation bar too low or hidden below the fold? No sidebar when you need one? To minimal, or not minimal enough?
Figuring out if you need a better, more user-friendly theme, well, maybe you do. Just remember, theme redesign is usually not the issue.
Pop-ups, slideouts, and other calls to action.
Pop-ups, I used to hate them. Slideouts, they were annoying too. But, today, they are not only needed, but I have learned how awesome and powerful they can be over the last 2-3 years as a blogger and business owner online.
Keep it simple, do not go crazy with them. There are pro bloggers and marketers that I love to follow and read, and watch their content, but I have to say I am a little annoyed sometimes at the number of pop-ups and whatnot I have to sift through every time I am there.
Don’t do that, keep it simple, but never let me go without a good call to action.
One of the best places is a welcome mat, a scroll-up, and something awesome inside and below the content itself. Currently, I am still working on some regular call-to-action with my content here, and I will have it ready soon enough.
There is not enough to annoy you I hope, but enough that you know that you will get an awesome 7-part free video series from me that will help you get started on your money-making blogging lifestyle today.
See that? A great call to action in part of the blog post itself! Funny…
Cutting through the clutter (it’s a minimal life!)
I like a little minimalism in my life. I also like it within my blog and brand, gimme’ some whitespace and let those pics and text rule the page!
Now I am not a minimalist in life, I think a little clutter can be a good thing in one’s life, but when you are talking about your blog content, well, too much clutter can make things harder to parse through and read.
Keep some whitespace, and keep things as cleanly formatted as possible. No, it does not have to be perfect, nor does it have to be all that polished. However, you and I should be able to tell one paragraph from another and separate the different thoughts while scanning a post.
Clean means clear here, and clean and clear means user-friendly on any device when reading and consuming any type of content within a blog post.
Make your blog user-friendly, or else!
User-friendly today is not just about navigation and readable content, it is about being readable, scan-able, it is also about being all those on mobile today…!
Mobile-friendly blog posts are a part of good search engine optimization today, and if you forget this little but important SEO fact, you’ll miss out on the 65% of searches that are happening on mobile today.
Make your blog user-friendly by staying on subject with each post. Make your navigation simple and easily accessible. And, make sure to keep your formatting clean and easy to parse through on any device.
With that, here’s to your success…!
If you need a more “user-friendly” blog design to help keep visitors on your site longer, check out the WordPress themes offered at MOJO Marketplace [affiliate link]
Got a question about blog design or website user experience? Let us know in the comments.
David is a professional Internet Marketing Coach & Consultant who provides vital training for those looking to build, brand and manage their business successfully online over at davidboozer.com. He currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with his lovely wife and five awesomely cool children. Oh, and Bigfoot lives in his backyard!
The post 7 Simple Tips To Make Your Blog More User-Friendly For Your Readers appeared first on Build Your Own Blog.
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