Tag Archives: content

Best Super Bowl XLIII Commercial Was… Open Happiness

So today was the 2009 Super Bowl and as always the commercials seem to get a lot of attention.  Overall I was not all that impressed with any one particular commercial this year, and some I was pretty disappointed with some, mainly for their strong sexual content.  Some were rehashed from last year, some are getting old like the Budweiser Clydesdales, the G.E. windmill, and the baby commercial for E-trade (which I hated all year long and now they are adding to the misery for 2009).

Maybe it is because I am getting older or something but I just don’t care for watching a commercial with my extended family where a Doritos eater blows off the cloths of someone on the street or GoDaddy shows Danica Patrick taking a shower at the whim of some domain name morons (which was only part of the extended commercial, most of which was not shown on TV).

Production wise, both of those commercials (especially the Doritos commercial) was good and the Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” commercial was hilarious but save the sex for Jay Leno’s hour.  Some others good commercials of note would be Bridgestone, the Hyundai Genesis with the screaming board members from BMW and the Japanese car makers, a Pepsi MAX commercial and some of the job search commercials from Career Builder with the screaming lady in the car.

Open Happiness with Coca-Cola

My second favorite would be the Pedigree Adoption Commercial. It was funny, and was actually trying to do something unique with their time slot, but my favorite commercial has to go to a company and not a single commercial Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola has done a fantastic job with making commercials that are just happy.  The end of the commercials say it all, “Open Happiness”.  Coke has a long running line of great commercials that just want to make you hold hands with the world and drink coke.  They don’t tend to sell sex, try to gross you out, or fight for the most racy commercial on TV, they sell liquid happiness in a bottle, and it’s not beer.

One of my favorite of the Coke commercials was the Coke Zero commercial spoof on the 1980 Super Bowl commercial with Mean Joe Green (YouTube Video), probably one of the all time greatest commercials for the Super Bowl.  Even during the 1979-1980 football season when this commercial came out (yes, it was not newly made just for the Super Bowl) Coke was still selling happiness.

Something has to be said about a company that can still produce that image in 2009 when we are completely inundated with junk on local TV I wouldn’t want to watch with anyone other than possibly my wife, so here it is.  Coca Cola wins top spot in my book for the best overall commercial spots for the Super Bowl 2009.

YouTube Video Below of Coca Cola – Open Happiness

5 Steps on How to Easily Improve a Blog in 2009

I love stats.  Some people call you a stat whore or call stats evil, but there is a reason you can get a degree in statistics in college.  Stats are used everywhere.

Sports, financial, technology, everywhere data is kept and you can gain so much information by examining statistics beyond surface level.  It can show you where you need to improve, what works, what doesn’t, and how to reach more people.

There are many reasons to have a blog, but is one of them to reach more people?  If so, you should know something about how to reach those people your blog is targeting.  Statistics is one way to evaluate how to do that.  If you don’t care about reaching new readers than I guess none of that matters, but many bloggers want to reach out.

A quick few tips for reaching new readers in 2009 on your blog would be something you can gain from your statistics.  Your stats just tell you how you have done, not what to do.  So, my few tips for what they are worth would be:

1. Keywords – be descriptive in your posts and your titles, the Internet runs off keywords.  If you had to pick one or the other, blog titles would come first.  Google keys off title tags so choose a title that is descriptive (like a newspaper headline) that accurately describes your post.

Keywords are not bad, they are just describing your post more accurately for the search engines to find the post.  For example, instead of saying we are going to be watching new year’s eve shows tonight, say we will be watching Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2009.

2. Content – the phrase content is king is still true.  Want people to be interested in reading your blog, write original and thoughtful content.  Don’t repeat material found on other blogs and don’t re-post content from other places but instead, write about your thoughts on that topic and link to the original content.

3. Show Some Link Love – one of the best things you can do for a fellow blogger is link to the direct post.  Linking to their blog is great, linking directly to a post they have written is even better.  The reason behind this is by doing so, you give their specific post more relevance when being looked at by google and it creates a pingback to their blog.  Google operates their search algorithms by deciding what is more relevant that something else, and one of the ways it does this is by the buzz around a post or article, and lets face it, the higher you are on Google’s list, the more visitors you will have to your blog or website.

4. Consistency – post with some consistency.  You don’t have to post every day, but posting once, then a month later doing another post, then a week later doesn’t always work well with search engines.  The code on your blog should be consistent as well.  This pretty much taken care of by WordPress or Typepad but the more frequently you change the focus on your blog or theme or coding the less relevant Google sees your blog.

5. Focus (remember your readers) – know your readers and pick a few key subjects and focus your blog on those topics.  For my personal blog, I focus on faith, photography, and personal topics and I try not to stray to far away from those topics (which are broad anyway).  Remember your readers.  You may think you are writing your blog for yourself, but you are really writing for your readers.  If you are writing for yourself and no one else, then there are several journal programs that will accomplish that purpose, but supposedly a blog is a “web log” about life, sharing ideas, information, and most of all communicating with others (i.e. your readers).

Bonus. Read other blogs and comment – ok, so there were actually 6 points, but I left the best for last.  To me, one of the most important things to do as a blogger is read other people’s blogs, and leave thought driven comments.  Blogging is a two way communication, not one way.  You should be ready to interact with your readers, and interact with other bloggers.  Blogs that only go one way become stale and cold.  Bloggers love comments.  If you want comments on your own blog, leave comments on other people’s blogs yourself.  Don’t spam your fellow bloggers.  Read, and if it was a thought provoking post, leave them a comment with your thoughts.

feed-reader

You can have the best content, the highest ranking, the best graphical design, and if you don’t allow comments, and never interact or comment yourself, your blog will be cold and corporate.  When I come across blogs that don’t allow comments that are in my feed reader, I title them in my reader with the extension “(blog title) – [no comments]” and they are usually the last blog I read, if at all.

The best example of how not to do it I have is from Desiring God.  John Piper has one of the very best blogs, period.  The content is incredible, the design is great, he has a ton of readers, and he doesn’t allow comments on his blog and (as far as I can tell) does not interact with his readers or responds to his email (at least not mine).  His blog also does one big no no on rss feeds and that is provide a partial post that requires the reader to actually go to the site to read the article.  And because of this, I rarely read his blog, but it is one of the best on the Internet.

UPDATE 01/11/09: I have to say after a bit of reflection, I am not sure the above criticism of John Piper’s website is all that warranted, strictly because of the value of the content that actually is posted.  I guess my point was that in the blogging community, comments make the blogs go round, and I still think it is very important, but I guess purely great content can totally overcome this point, and the Desiring God blog is one example of having such outstanding content that it may not make any difference, but I think that is an exception.

What are your plans for your blog for 2009?

Content Writing and Blog Posts

The Internet is an amazing place, don’t you think. No other place has the freedom and ability to express yourself as you can on the Internet (at present time), and for better or worse, you can showcase your work and skills to people all over the world. Blog posts and content writing is certainly one way to express your opinions, beliefs, and concerns to others.

I have been involved in writing blog posts now for many years in more blogs than I can remember, but without some of the great companies that support these types of platforms this art form of sorts would be made much more difficult. If you are just getting starting with a blog there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Choose a back end system – wordpress, typepad, blogger
  • Choose a domain or name – domains are inexpensive now, you don’t always have to go with free name provided by the back end system, make it look professional and personal with your own domain name
  • Choose a topic – have a specific genre and stick to it
  • Do some research – it makes things much more interesting
  • Be original – don’t just scrape what everyone else is saying, be original and do some of your own work, it will help build a solid customer or reader base

Prior To February 2008

I wanted to make a quick disclaimer for the blog posts prior to this date, February 1st, 2008. As part of my job, I write blog content, offer consulting services, and generally help with any project that needs to be done on the Internet. Someone offered to purchase the written content in the posts prior to this date, which I did indeed sell at that time.

The content if seen on another blog was authorized by me, but is also shown below as an example of my prior content writing. If you have any questions at all I would be more than happy to discuss them with you.

Is Writing a Guest Post Article Worth the Time

I have looked at writing as a guest contributor to several blogs and sites and finally took the plunge when I read another article about a marketing company looking for some guest post articles. Each company or person’s needs are different, so as a content writer, your skills might not always match the needed content, but when it does you should consider writing a guest article.

There are some key questions to ask yourself before you decide to write the article and I will discuss a few of those below. If you would like to see the 3 part article you can visit allinanchor, or read the first part of the article, You Don’t Have to Run From the Online Competition, Part 1, and follow the link to the second and third article at the bottom.

Is It Worth Your Time

There are so many factors that will go into your decision to be a contributing writer but one of the main things to look at should be your time. I will list the items below I believe are the most important in factoring in the time it is going to take to write a high quality article for another site.

Don’t expect another business to want your second hand articles or take what you have left over. You will have to spend the time it takes to do it right, and you will want to, after all, it is your name that will be associated with the article.

How Much Time Will it Actually Take

If you want to write a high quality article you can expect it to take some time to put together. No company is going to want a content writer that throws something together in five minutes and then hands it over. Take a close look at how long it will take, and if you actually have the time to do the project.

Be honest with yourself. You may have all the qualities and abilities to write this article but you may not realistically have the time to do it. Look at how much research is involved, how much detail you normally put into an article, and what is required by the company.

Plan to spend several hours putting all the information together, writing the article, editing, proofing, and all the necessary things to give the company a completely finished product.

What are the Requirements for the Article

The article I wrote for allinachor was a three part article in about 2500 words, so it did take several hours to put together and write. Make sure you know going in what the company wants in the way of an article. How long does it need to be, does it need photos or images, and what category it should be posted to.

You should also find out what specific topic should be discussed. Some times this is up to the writer but many times the site will need a specific direction for the article and it is important to follow that guideline to complete a successful article.

Will it Take Away From Your Own Blog

Any time writing for another blog will take time away from your own blog. Do you have this time to spare? You can prepare articles for your own blog in advance if you don’t have time to do both at the same time, but be sure your time spent on other blogs doesn’t harm your own interests.

Is the Topic One You Can Write About Intelligently

I once read that a problem with some bloggers is that they never met a plugin they didn’t like. Well, you don’t have to take every article opportunity you come across, especially if the topic is something you can not discuss with some kind of previous knowledge or experience.

Be sure you know what you are talking about. The Internet can reach so many people that there is certainly going to be someone reading your article that knows more about the subject matter than you do, so you should make sure that everything you write about is as well researched as possible.

What is the Compensation For the Work

So why are you considering writing a contributing article anyway? Is it for money, for exposure on the site or blog, or both? Your work and time are worth something and you shouldn’t just give it away for no reason. If you do this, please, contact me, I have several jobs I would love to have you work with.

Most content writers will not consider doing an article for exposure only. Their business is in writing and the exposure comes with the article but their objective, as most in business, is to make a living of some kind. Know what kind of compensation is offered up front and agree on the given compensation before you write the article.

Do Not Expect Total Control Over the Finished Product

Are you a total detail freak like me? If so, you probably pay attention to the most minuet detail of each post or article. I specifically choose my links, my anchor tags, headings, alt tags, title tags and so on. Once you give the article to the company, you have sold the rights to that article, and they can pretty much do what they want with it.

It is still your copyrighted material, but if they don’t want to use your alt tags or links you might find them to be missing once the article is published. Don’t be surprised by this. If you want complete and total control over the final product be sure to mention this up front before it is handed over to the company for publishing.

Conclusion

There are several reasons you might consider writing a guest post for another blog, but be sure you have the time to complete the job in a professional manner and on time. Make sure you can answer the questions you have in min. How much does it pay, what benefit will it be to the company and you as a content writer? Is it worth the time it will take me to finish the project?