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Friday Digital Roundup

The Friday Digital Roundup is a witty take on the weird world of the internet. With fun stories from around the globe, it’s the only email newsletter you’ll actually read and enjoy!

We do love writing it, but clearly not as much as people like receiving it - just look at the response we got when a technical hitch meant it wasn’t sent out on time!

David Morphew @DavidMorphew

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Spaghetti Blog

Tuesday 23rd October 2018

The JCF Blog – What Can You Learn From Our Top Ten Posts of 2014

Wed 17th Dec 2014
By Todd

I was going to write a marketing blog this week as I do every week, but then I realised that I should really make it all special and stuff. Well, it is the end of the year and maybe I should ‘look back’ and get all nostalgic?

But then I thought, “Screw that. Everyone does that”.

But then I thought, “Maybe people like it and that’s why everyone does it?”.

And then I thought, “Todd, stop talking to yourself on your own blog, it’s another step closer to narcissism”.

So I’ve compromised an end of year blog and still managed to add in some knowledge that you can take away and use with your own marketing. It’s a compromise I think you’ll like.

 

 

2014 blog image

 

This blog has been updated almost every week this year. It’s been a hard slog and I recommend only taking on a weekly blog if you’re really into writing and find it easy to get topics down and onto paper. Discipline is important and a regular blog is a big task.

Of course with all that blogging comes a lot of cool content but also some really useful stats and data! Yay – DATA!

But it’s OK! Don’t leave now. I’ll explain it all in simple English rather than code only a geek could understand.

 

So here are the top 10 blogs from JCF this year and a link to read them. But more importantly, here are why they made the top ten and how you can use these insights to improve your own blogging or content creation. (I told you you’d learn something!)

 

So… from 10 to 1, here are the top 10 posts from our own blog in 2014

 

#10. Are You Committing These Nine Disastrous Mistakes on Your WordPress Website?

http://www.jcfacility.co.uk/committing-nine-disastrous-mistakes-wordpress-website/

Naming and linking images in WordPress

 

Earlier this year I was asked to improve a WordPress website. I love WordPress and couldn’t wait to get going. While I was adding new copy and pages and turning the blog into a roll of events and re-working the site from .com to .org I realised something… I know some quite useful stuff!

So I logged all the things I found that were standard rookie errors for most people new to WordPress and this blog happened.

It was well-received and got in at number 10 of our most frequently read list.

 

Why did this blog perform well?

Firstly (as with most blogs) the title was good. It asked a question and had emotive words like ‘disastrous’ and ‘mistakes’. If you had a WordPress website and you saw the title you would hopefully wonder if you were making one of the ten mistakes.

Another reason this blog did well was the strong community of WordPress coders and users on Twitter. #Wordpress and #WordpressTips helped this blog get picked up. It has since been found organically on Google and keeps getting clicks.

But more importantly – it’s useful! People read this post because it’s like a tick sheet. In fact – it IS a tick sheet and was my tick sheet. I actually worked down this list and fixed a site that is now ranking well on Google for key terms.

 

#9.Here’s Why Your Business Blog isn’t Working

http://www.jcfacility.co.uk/heres-business-blog-isnt-working/

 

Todd.blogging

 

I wrote this blog whilst on holiday but that’s not why it did well (thankfully as that’s an expensive tip for more traffic!). This blog was posted in the same week that I made the top 40 SEO experts to follow on Twitter too, but that’s not why it performed well.

This blog was the result of a great podcast by Copyblogger. http://www.copyblogger.com/how-to-write-exquisite-subheads/ I listened to it on the plane on our way over to our base in Lanzarote and it totally transformed the way I wrote blogs with a very simple tip.

 

Why did this blog perform well?

This was the first blog of many that I wrote by placing the sub headings on the page first and then writing the post. This helps hugely for a writer like me who can be prone to waffling. It gives you structure and keeps your blog focused.

Put your sub heads on the page first and read them.

If they flow and follow on then they work. If they don’t, re-arrange them or change them. A blog should have a beginning, middle, and end (intro, body and conclusion) but also stay focused on the title of the post. This works for readers and for SEO as the blog will stay true to one subject and the sub heads will have keywords in which helps Google send people to your post.

 

#8. 6 Reasons I’m So Over Facebook for Business!

http://www.jcfacility.co.uk/6-reasons-im-over-facebook-for-business/

 

Like us on Facebook

 

Oh yeah… I did one too. Yup, I said I was over Facebook. I ranted a bit, but I also shared the news of a new algorithm update and some industry buzz around Facebook.

This post did OK on Google+ and LinkedIn. You can see from the share bar that it got a fair amount of shares and that people on Facebook were actually less interested (probably because no one saw it – that’s what the post was about).

 

Why did this blog perform well?

This blog did well on hits because it hit a note on my Twitter. I remember it getting a lot of mentions and conversation and people still send me algorithm updates and ask thoughts on them now.

Another reason it did well was that it was short. It only had six reasons and it said so in the post.

List titles work.

Yes, everyone is doing them – but they work. If you can tell your reader what to expect in the post from the title then do it. It simply gets more clicks, especially if it seems manageable.

 

 

#7. 10 Incredibly Simple & Powerful Twitter Tips for Getting More Quality Followers

http://www.jcfacility.co.uk/10-incredibly-simple-powerful-twitter-tips-getting-quality-followers/

 

#ToddsTips - keep tweeting to be sen more

 

I remember spending ages on this title and it seems to have worked. I don’t usually use even numbers or 10 tips as it looks artificially invented (blog title psychology there) but this one worked well.

I had guest posted on a US blog back in July and the title was very… well… American. But it got views and interest, so I emulated it for the UK. The guest post was 13 Powerful Tips To Make You A Twitter Rock Star and I wanted to copy that powerful title.

 

Why did this blog perform well?

I wasn’t as brave as that title but it got more traffic thanks to the big words and promise in the blog title. Another reason was that it’s a really easy blog to understand and that it offers so much value. They really are simple tips and you can copy what I do and achieve it. People like to help themselves for free and I like traffic to my site. Win, win.

 

 

#6. Is Your Online Marketing Failing? Maybe You’re Not Awesome Enough?

http://www.jcfacility.co.uk/online-marketing-failing-maybe-youre-awesome-enough/

 

Facebook Page for Rugby4Heroes

 

At number six we have a double whammy of “am I?” and two strong local groups that I blogged about. We created a website on WordPress and then a Facebook page and both did very well very early. Unheard of when we create new content, but there were two very good reasons at work here.

 

Why did this blog perform well?

The title dragged people in, but I also used a very vivid image from one of the groups and it attracted readers. The people in the image were famous to a point but it goes to show the power of quality images when sharing your content.

People actually read this post to the end too (as with the others). An average of 3 minutes 20 seconds is above average for most online reading (around two minutes) and it shows people liked and read the content. It’s important that your blogs are read as well as clicked. You want people to take in what you’re saying.

Another reason this post did well was that it was about a local group with a strong following. The image is very iconic to them and when the blog was shared on social so was the image. An already established group with a strong following and now a blog mentioning them… yes that works quite well for hits to your blog too.

 

 

#5. Eight Tweetdeck Tricks That You Should Try Today

http://www.jcfacility.co.uk/eight-tricks-tweetdeck-today/

 

Tweetdeck tips from JCF | #ToddsTips

 

At number five is a surprise to me. This was a very niche topic but it helped a lot of people. I trialled a new title of telling people what to do, which worked wonders.

I didn’t say they were simple or easy tips and people still went for it. Often I’ll make it easy to grasp, but not this time. The Tweetdeck community lapped it up.

 

Why did this blog perform well?

This is still getting good organic traffic and it seems to be ranked highly for ‘Tweetdeck logo’ thanks to good image description tags and also for Tweetdeck ‘scheduled tweets went away’ which is odd as I didn’t blog about that, but hey!

I used the sub head tip I mentioned above, and I also have re-shared this a lot. I’ve scheduled this on Twitter with the Tweetdeck logo many times through my Buffer account. It always gets clicks and reads and when I’m topping up my Buffer with old content I always share this. It’s a lesson in re-sharing older content on Twitter. It’s fine to share older content for followers who haven’t yet seen it.

 

 

#4. 10 Things You’re Doing Wrong on Social Media

http://www.jcfacility.co.uk/10-things-youre-wrong-social-media/

 

Get your head out of the sand - social media is here to stay

 

Ah… the previous number one for a long time. This blog was the number one most-read blog for a while.

 

Why did this blog perform well?

One of the main reasons for this post performing well was that I gave a talk at a conference and this was the basis. I wrote the blog based on the PowerPoint presentation and then shared it via Buffer and WordPress, scheduling posts whilst I was actually giving the talk.

It all sounds very technical but it meant that anyone who heard me talk would be able to read it later (and share it) and when I shared it on LinkedIn later (where I knew those people were) they clicked, shared and read it.

The attendees sharing it added social proof and the title got people thinking. This post still gets traffic for ‘things you’re doing wrong on social media’ and I still use some of the content for seminars.

 

#3. 11 Hidden Tricks that will Make You Fall in Love with Facebook Again

http://www.jcfacility.co.uk/11-hidden-tricks-will-make-fall-love-facebook/

 

How to imporve your experience on Facebook

 

In at number three is a blog that did very well on Facebook but not Pages. Facebook Pages got gradually worse in 2014. Diminishing reach was the bane of marketers’ lives and we all struggled to be heard.

But this post wasn’t for them or shared on our Facebook Page. I shared this on my personal Facebook account.

 

Why did this blog perform well?

This blog was all about personal Facebook and how you can make it great again. I added emotive words in the title and accidentally used an image of Jo and myself in the code that Facebook uses when it’s shared. It made it emotive. It had a loving image of us, and the title made people click.

But that’s not all.

People seemed to love it. People on my Facebook shared it and the dig at stupid Facebook games and auto-play videos got people reading, sharing and ranting. It was relevant and helpful and solved a problem that many people had.

 

 

#2. You Can’t Handle the Truth! (About Social Media ROI.)

http://www.jcfacility.co.uk/cant-handle-truth-social-media-roi/you-cant-handle-the-truth

 

I can’t handle the truth about this blog!

This isn’t at number two because people agreed with the Return On Investment point I was making.

Readers didn’t find the post because mountains of visitors shared it.

This blog was accidentally brilliant for SEO… but for the wrong phrase for our website.

 

Why did this blog perform well?

That title is obviously ripped from a great film with Jack Nicholson called A Few Good Men. The line “You can’t handle the truth” is very well known and I loved using it for the blog.

When I named the image that I used for the post which is a simple meme I added the text ‘ You can’t handle the truth about social media ROI’ but all Google saw was ‘You can’t handle the truth’ and now it’s ranked number 1 on Google images for that term, and in turn it’s page one of Google when the images show in the results.

The result is lots of social shares and clicks for completely the wrong reason but it’s a lesson in image naming. Always name your images. It’s a great way to gain traffic (if your image is relevant) and you’ll be surprised how many social media links you get from people sharing the image and accidentally sharing the image URL, which is of course the blog post URL.

That said, the blog did get people talking and does have a dig at some ineffective marketing agencies (a little controversy works well too!).

 

 

#1. 16 Awesome iPhone Tips and Tricks You Need in Your Life That You Probably Didn’t Know About

http://www.jcfacility.co.uk/16-awesome-iphone-tips-and-tricks-need-life-probably-didnt-know/

 

iPhone tips and tricks iPhone mulit-tasking home button iOS 7 Control Centre Charge you iPhone battery superfast

 

At number one it’s a blog that has nothing to do with social media marketing at all! Yes, that’s our own work out of the window. But this blog is a great piece to learn from.

Why did this blog perform well?

This blog did well because of Google+.

Yup. You know that network everyone says is dead? Well it got me loads of shares, readers and fans. I shared it in an iPhone community on Google+ and the moderator liked it so much that they shared it on their own stream to masses of engaged fans about iPhones.

Relevant content works.

This blog did well on Reddit too.

I submitted this blog to Reddit. I don’t use Reddit anywhere near as much as I should, but this got people talking a little and reading too. In 2015 I’ll be joining in more.

This blog did well because it was useful.

Think about it. How many people do you know that have an iPhone? How many people do you know that know everything about them? iPhones don’t have instructions, so tips like this are useful. I know a lot about iPhones and I shared that knowledge. Can you share your knowledge from your industry?

The title was good and I put in almost everything I’ve learnt over the year. Americanisms in the wording. Listing the amount of tips. Telling people they need the blog in their life. And I also said that the audience probably didn’t know them so had to read the post to find out.

This blog had all its traffic early on and although I’ve shared it since it is of course now out of date since iOS8 came out and ruined it for me! I will probably re-work this for iOS8 and share the new version next year.

But this post was shared to a relevant audience with relevant content and really did offer value, and not all of it was the same as what was already online – or at least not in one place.

Share unique, relevant content to a relevant and engaged audience and you’re sure to win traffic and fans.

 

Takeaways from a year of blogging for JCF (here you go skimmers)

So that’s the top 10 of 2014 from our blog. It was a really good year for us and the blog just grew and grew. The posts became longer monsters and I ditched the 800 word bite-size posts for long-form content and never looked back.

 

What worked on our blog in 2014?

  • Descriptive titles. I used words that said what was in the posts. Simple and effective, and I can’t see that tip changing in 2015.
  • I wrote list blogs. I listed how many tips or tricks or stages were in the posts and it gave the readers an idea of the work involved in reading it. This helps people click which is a huge barrier online.
  • I used emotive words. There aren’t many words more emotive than ‘fall in love’ and I managed to get that into a post about Facebook! Using ‘powerful, hidden tricks, you, today, how to, failing, awesome’ I made readers want to grasp these blogs and feel that they just couldn’t not read them. Titles work wonders online!
  • Naming images. I always named the images well and made sure that Google would know what the images were. It helps to share relevant images and use keywords related to your title too.
  • I shared useful, unique and current content. The content I shared on our blog is genuinely from our work here. We’re constantly working away on marketing and our blog is designed to show you that we know our stuff. This gives our readers and you the chance to learn from our testing and even this post is doing that. This works with online content as we generally only care what’s in it for us. Give people content that’s useful to them, up-to-date and in-depth and you won’t go far wrong.
  • I shared these blogs A LOT! This isn’t a ‘publish and wait’ game. Blogging is the whole nine yards and it ain’t a thing if readers can’t find your posts. I share most of my content through Buffer and the new scheduler is awesome for sharing a new posts multiple times very quickly. I’d recommend re-posting your old content and picking out parts of the blog that may appeal to different audiences. The best title in the world might not say everything about your post, so sharing one liners from the blog itself in tweets, Facebook posts or others will gain more interest.

 

Above all else I’ve learnt that having a schedule to post from really helps.

Almost every week I’ve blogged on a Monday to share on a Tuesday. During the week I save ideas and inspiration for blogs in my CRM or email them via Siri or even just write them on a pad. Your ideas shouldn’t be a block and neither should your time.

Plan, write, post, post, post.

Blogging is a great way to share your knowledge and generate business. It has worked really well for us this year and I would like to thank you for reading, sharing, commenting, tweeting, liking +1ing, sharing and subscribing.

 

It’s always a pleasure to write on this blog and I hope it’s helped you in 2014.

 

Here’s to 2015 and plenty more blogs to come.

 

 


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Todd

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4 comments on this article

  • Jo Hanson at 10:08am on December 19th 2014

    Hi Todd/Jo

    Thanks for sharing your blog evaluation – what a great end to the year! No surprise on the iPhone tips hitting No1- this has saved me so much battery power throughout the day, which has been an absolute God send!

    It is strange looking back, and as you know I have followed your posts and advice throughout my social media journey through Twitter – I have been able to apply a lot of your tips within my Comms role in my day to day work, so this has really helped!

    I think one of the most valid tips that has stuck in my head from one of your blogs is for businesses to understand the needs of the client/customer through Social Media, yes it is ok to brag a bit about business achievements and stats on how well their business is doing – but If this is over egged, there is a danger that this could overshadow the clarity of their service/brand. The main focus should be the service and delivery, and what they can do for the client – With society changing and technology being a big part of that, our way of thinking and how we consume information has changed – so businesses do need to get to grips with that. Thanks!

    Wishing you and Jo a Happy New Year!

    Jo
    X

    1. Todd at 10:14am on December 19th 2014

      Hey Jo!

      I’m not surprised about the iPhone blog either. It went mad when I posted it and as you’ve proved it’s really rather useful. That’s the key to all this social media and marketing – adding value to your audience. You wouldn’t follow our stuff if it didn’t help you (no matter how nice I am to you on Twitter 😉

      Thanks for the comments throughout the year and have a fabulous break over the festive season.

      Much love.

      Todd and Jo.

  • Geraldine at 14:24pm on December 19th 2014

    I’ve certainly picked up some nifty tips from your blog (oops, nearly typed bog!) this year and look forward to more in 2015. In fact, I think that a comment I made on here a few months back was probably our first proper contact, even though I’d been a FB fan of JCF for a while!

    Here’s wishing you both a fab festive season 🙂

    1. Todd at 14:27pm on December 19th 2014

      Hey Geraldine, I think you’re right. We actually met on this comment box – how very 2014!!

      Thank you for all your support and it was great to finally meet you at the Digital Marketing workshop too.

      Have a fabulous festive season and love to you and your family.

      Todd x

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