Facebook’s Latest Algorithm Change Isn’t The End Of The World For Publishers

Facebook Ads Aren't Dead

Facebook recently announced some changes to their algorithm that have publishers across the web screaming bloody murder. Essentially, these changes are going to specifically promote content that was posted by the friends and family of users, rather than showing things from brand pages and other sources that people have ‘liked’ or ‘followed’ in the past.

Now as someone who spends a considerable amount of money on Facebook ads (to grow the number of followers on our page, Boosts are for chumps), I was naturally concerned about this as well. But here’s the thing – If you produce good content, people will share it. And when people share it, it creates a viral effect that can’t be stopped.

Some of my marketing friends disagreed. Until I showed them a MASSIVE spike of traffic that we got from Facebook, to the tune of about 225K visitors over the course of two days.

FB-Traffic_1

You can click the image above to see a more detailed view of our Analytics from those days, but as you can see, the traffic went from 771 the day before to 150K the following day. All thanks to a post on Facebook that got shared over and over again. Eventually, some people with massive followings started sharing it, and that took things to a whole other level!

And for those who still don’t believe me, look at the following screen shot:

FB-Traffic-2

As you can see, Facebook (mobile) drove most of that traffic. (The fact that so many people browse on mobile these days is a story for another day, but needless to say, it’s important that your site is mobile friendly or responsive.)

So the point I’m trying to make is that Facebook is far from dead for brands and marketers, it just requires rethinking your strategy. Simply sharing every post you make isn’t going to get you anywhere. But create compelling posts that people will want to like, share and comment on will ensure that they get seen by as many people as possible on Facebook.

Food for thought.

Facebook Rolls Out New Like Button That Lets You Choose From Various “Reactions”

facebook-reactions

For the past year, Facebook has been testing out a more comprehensive ‘Like’ button, one that lets you express your emotion about a post. Facebook is calling these new buttons Facebook Reactions.

With Facebook Reactions, you now have the choice to ‘Like’, ‘Love’, ‘Haha’, ‘Wow’, ‘Sad’, or ‘Angry’ a post. So now instead of “liking” a sad status update, you can respond with a sentiment that feels a little more appropriate.

Facebook-new-likes-buttons-express-more-emotion

Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook Reactions are about letting people express empathy, but I think there’s more going on behind the scenes. For the past few weeks, we’ve noticed that Likes and Shares haven’t been generating nearly the traffic that they once did (eg. 100 Likes = 1000 post reach?!), and FB said that this was part of an algorithm change. With these new reactions in place now, we’ll be monitoring our pages performance and see if we can discern any changes.

To use the new ‘Like’ emotions, either hover over the old ‘Like’ button (desktop) or long-press the ‘Like’ button (mobile), and a range of emotions will appear. Simply click the one you want to express about the post, and you’re good to go.

What do you think about Facebook Reactions?

Instagram To Launch Support For Multiple Accounts

Instagram

Do you manage more than a few Instagram accounts? If so, get ready to do the happy dance, because Instagram is FINALLY working on a new version of their mobile app for both iOS and Android users that will allow them to quickly move between multiple accounts without having to log in and out like you currently do.

A few months ago, I started managing the @GuysGab Instagram account, and while Hootsuite has been a godsend in the fact that it lets me compose posts on my desktop in advance, it was still a huge chore making sure that I was logged into the correct account before it went out.

Instagram is reportedly running a beta test on their new mobile app, and assuming everything goes ok, it looks like we’ll get this functionality in the near future. I can’t wait!

Your New Year’s Resolution Should Be To Stop Making Excuses

stop-the-excuses

It’s 2016. Did you achieve the goals you set out for yourself last year? If not, what’s the deal?

Listen, it’s easy to make excuses for why you didn’t do this or that, but when it comes right down to it, you’ve got to plow through all the BS if you want to get ahead. With the New Year finally here, it’s time to take a moment and do a little bit of self reflection. What do you want to do, and how do you accomplish this?

I’ve got friends who set out to do something awesome. In many cases, I even helped them get started. But them they stall out, and start making lame excuses about why they didn’t do anything. “I work 50 hours a week!” “I’m tired when I get home.” “There’s not enough hours in the day!” “I’ll never succeed anyway, so what’s the point?”

The truth of the matter is that these people don’t want it enough! Last March, I had a conversation with a colleague that was entering a niche I was very familiar with. While he was passionate about the subject matter, the problem was that there weren’t a lot of opportunities to monetize his site, and that he’d never be able to make that crazy money he was dreaming about. I gave him a lot of good advice, and never gave it another thought.

Fast forward to last week, when I found out that he had secretly started a second completely unrelated site, focused strictly on making money. And that just 6 months in, he was making $17,000 PER MONTH in profit! He’s hustling his ass off, working 6+ hours a day on top of his 8-10 hour normal workday, but he’s got a goal in mind, and he’s not about to let anything stand in his way.

I’ll admit, hearing his story made me feel a little guilty, as I had gotten complacent over the past year and just let things run on cruise control. But hearing his story got my juices flowing, and I’m setting out to KILL IT in 2016. You should too. No more excuses people!

After Nearly 10 Years, I’m Leaving GoDaddy..

Goodbye-GoDaddy

For almost 10 years, I’ve used GoDaddy for domain registration. The first domain I ever purchased was actually through Network Solutions, but I soon learned that I was paying WAY too much over there, and made the switch to GD. Now over the years, I had read horror stories about them, but I never had any issues with them. I registered around 100 domains with them, and paid the hefty renewal fees every year.

This past year, GoDaddy hiked up their rates a bit, and even with coupons, the best deal that I could find would cost around $8.50/domain. That wasn’t so bad. But when I went to renew a domain back in January, the best price I could find with them was a little over $10. And then yesterday I went to renew another domain that was expiring, and NONE of the promo codes were working, leaving me with the decision of renewing this domain for $12.50, or transferring it to somewhere else.

I chose the latter. After doing some research, I decided to transfer my domain to NameSilo. They charge $8.39 for a domain, and if you use the code SAVEMEABUCK, you can save a dollar off of your order. What I like about NameSilo is that I don’t have to hunt around for coupons each time one of my domains come up for renewal, as their regular price is just $8.39. And their reputation seems to be rock solid, unlike some other registrars out there.

Now, I won’t like, the process of transferring your domain from GoDaddy to NameSilo isn’t exactly clear, so I’ve laid out the steps if you want to do this:

  1. Created an account on namesilo.com.
  2. Logged into your GoDaddy account and launch the Domain Manager on the domain you want to transfer.
  3. Under DOMAIN SETTINGS, manage the LOCK setting and unlock the domain so it can be transferred. (I think GoDaddy has them locked by default)
  4. Scroll down to the AUTHORIZATION CODE section at the bottom and have it email you the authorization code. (You use this code to initiate the transfer on NameSilo)
  5. Once you receive the authorization code, log into NameSilo and select the TRANSFER tab.
  6. Put your domain name in the transfer a single domain and click search.
  7. Put in the authorization code that GoDaddy emailed you and click Transfer these domains.
  8. At this point, you have to pay for the domain transfer using the code SAVEMEABUCK, bringing the price down to $7.39.
  9. You will receive an email from GoDaddy about the transfer, and you need to click the approve link in the email.
  10. It will log you into your GoDaddy account, where you can either approve or deny the transfer. Approve it if you want to allow the transfer to go through.
  11. You then should get an email from NameSilo and you go to your account there and accept the transfer and it is done.

The whole process took around an hour from start to finish. Once you do one, you’ll find the process much easier the next time around.. But since GoDaddy doesn’t have the most user-friendly interface, it’s a little confusing the first time around. Hopefully these directions will help you out.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below, and I’ll help you out the best that I can.

Adios GoDaddy!

Should You Move From WordPress To Tumblr?

Tumblr-vs-Wordpress

I started blogging back in 2005, and my blogging platform of choice was WordPress. Now back then, WordPress was still relatively new, with the majority of people still using Blogger. But I wanted to make money from my blog, and my concern (rightfully so) was that Blogger severely limited the way you could monetize your site..

So I went the hard route, which meant registering a domain, finding a web host, installing WordPress, working with databases, customizing themes, worrying about traffic/load exceeding my modest host’s limitations, etc. If you’re a WordPress self-hosted user, you know what I mean. As someone with a background in IT, this wasn’t too difficult for me, but for the Average Joe, it can be a daunting task.

For the next 10 years, I upgraded WordPress from version to version (all the way from 1.5.1 to 4.2.1), dealt with security breaches, plugin conflicts, and other headaches that often had me muttering, “There has to be a better way!”

Fast forward to 2014. I’m managing a popular men’s lifestyle blog called Guys Gab, and I saw something in Google Analytics that made me do a double-take. There was a HUGE amount of traffic coming from an unfamiliar source, a random Tumblr page. It turns out that this guy shared a story we had written (Domino’s Pizza Tracker Saved A Person’s Life!), and it went crazy viral on Tumblr, getting over 175K likes!

Needless to say, I started playing with Tumblr almost immediately. In some respects, Tumblr is similar to Blogger and WordPress.com in the fact that they’re hosted on a centralized server, and you simply login and post your content. But Tumblr is a much more social platform, one that thrives on images and video. Within a few hours of playing with it, I could already see the appeal of it, and why it’s so popular with millenials.

If you’ve got a site (or a site in mind) that’s very visually oriented, Tumblr is a no-brainer. People will openly like and share your photos and videos, opening you up to be discovered by countless others. It happens very organically, and it’s pretty exciting when you see new followers and activity. Unlike blogs which rely heavily on SEO (a tough road, for sure), most people will discover your content inside the Tumblr ecosystem, where real people control how popular something is or isn’t.

Overall, I’m very impressed with Tumblr. While we can’t exactly abandoned 5+ years of content that we’ve developed on WordPress thus far, we now actively use Tumblr as a secondary tool to help expose our content to a whole other audience. But if I were to start a new blog tomorrow, I might seriously consider ditching WP completely and making a go of it with Tumblr.

Food for thought..

Burger King, Your Pricing Model Makes No Sense!

Burger King Original Chicken Sandwich

Honestly, I rarely go to Burger King.. But I was in the area, and I had a hankering for an Italian Chicken Sandwich. Of course, when I get there, I’m told that they’ve once again gotten rid of it. Why? Who knows, they seem to enjoy playing games much like McDonalds does with the McRib. Grrrr!

Instead, I decided to just get an Original Chicken Sandwich, which is basically the same thing, only with lettuce and mayo instead of marinara sauce and cheese. Then I looked at the price on the menu. $4.99! This sandwich was $2.79 for DECADES, and then all of a sudden they decided to jack up the price something fierce. But what’s even more perplexing is that they’re doing a “2 for $5” promo right now, and included in that promo is the Original Chicken Sandwich.

So let me get this right.. I can buy one sandwich for $4.99, or two of them for $5? That makes absolutely NO sense whatsoever. Had it been $3 or $3.50, I would have gotten it and that would be the end of it. But instead, I just left and got a better sandwich for less at Chick-Fil-A across the street.

Good job BK. See you when you bring back the Italian Chicken Sandwich.. Maybe.