Or lack of time awareness, to be specific.
If you’re trying to get ahold of me – I’m not around on weekends anymore. I haven’t worked weekends for a long time but I’ve taken it even further lately. I don’t look at my e-mails at all, and I barely pay attention to my phone. I usually check it less than 5 times over the weekends for texts or whatever.
It’s actually quite refreshing. Makes Mondays a bit more of a chore as I’ve got a ton of e-mails to deal with – but the positives outweigh the negatives.
A few times over this weekend I realized I had absolutely no idea what time it was. Like I couldn’t even ballpark it – it could be as early as 2pm or as late as 7pm. Summer days obviously help that. I was just so busy with the kids I wasn’t paying attention, and I didn’t have my phone on me all day so wasn’t constantly seeing the time.
It’s just a really nice feeling to be completely unaware of what time it is, and also not actually care.
I’ve talked a lot here in the last year or so about why you should learn to use Twitter. The general consensus from social marketing experts and optimizers is that you shouldn’t just use your twitter account to post links – you should also use it to tweet a lot about random shit. Spend time interacting with people, discussing non-related topics to your website etc.
Basically, personalize yourself.
And hey that’s great in theory – but when Google Reader announced they were closing their doors, I did a lot of research into it. I was curious to see the reaction of people. One thing I noticed was that a lot of people would suggest using Twitter to keep up to date on your websites. But then there’d be a TON of people complaining that the people running those Twitter accounts are always tweeting non-articles – basically the useless crap social marketing “experts” recommend.
What does this all mean? Basically the same thing that should apply to any marketing or optimization advice you ever read: it’s usually never black and white. Most people paint it all with the same brush. “Yep here’s how you optimize a website”, “Yup here’s the exact method to run a facebook page or twitter account”.
It’s all different. If you’re offering a valued service in the form of subscription where you KNOW people are going to want to follow it purely for new articles – then that’s when you should go for new articles only. For example – a news website, or a tips service. However if you’re running a generic portal and you know there’s not many people out there who want to keep up to date on your latest articles – THAT’S when you want to interact a lot more and get people recognizing your brand.
Study Facebook pages of businesses and see who does it right and who doesn’t. I’m sure many of you waste an hour or so a day on Facebook anyway right? Turn that into “work”. As you’re on Facebook, start looking at that and seeing what gets a reaction and what companies do that make YOU possibly want to interact.
Something I Love:
Is when “the student becomes the master”, or when an “old dog learns new tricks”. Pick your metaphor – they both work here.
I’ve written before about how I’ve recently partnered up with my brother in law on some affiliate marketing sites, and I’m really teaching him the ropes. Our primary one right now is BetNHL.ca. He’s really passionate about hockey, I know the betting tips market and so it was the perfect project to really start up together and work on.
So I showed him the ropes etc – explaining to him exactly how you should write articles that are optimized both for the search engines and for users. It’s been great watching his work get better and better and seeing him try out new techniques, and so I’ve been teaching him more and more as time goes on.
One simple thing I explained to him was running a website via Twitter. I wanted to do a mix of above – basically follow people who are hockey fans, and occasionally(not a lot) interact with them. So I’d sit down and follow people who type hockey team names like #Leafs, #Habs or #Blackhawks. It’s a simple process and maybe 1 in 15-20 actually will follow you back. So I taught him that.
Well one night my inbox started getting hit with quite a lot of “You have new followers on Twitter” e-mails. Like I’m talking a fair amount. I thought he had just sat there and followed about 50,000 people or something – but when I looked into it, he was actually getting about a 1.5:1 follower ratio.
The reason was simple – he went right for the niche. In Ontario, people place bets by using the Government run ProLine – you go to the corner store and bet on it. So he went right for them – following people who were saying stuff like “Come on ProLine one time let’s go Leafs!”. Less people to follow – but it was quantity over quality and it worked out great.
It just made me laugh because I go on about niche and demographics all the time – and yet when it came to Twitter I just couldn’t see the forest for the trees on that one. I was always going for broad results rather than going for the exact demographic. Start thinking about that – and also of course about timing your follows. For example don’t just follow people randomly – follow them after you have put up a good tweet at the top of your timeline(ie: new tips article for the next day) and then they’re more likely to check out your site.
I keep forgetting to do Link of the Week on here so I’ve got quite a few websites bookmarked I’m just going to share:
Aaron’s Last Wish: This one is always good for feel-good videos, and a bunch of you probably heard about this. Aaron Collins died last year, and his last wish was that his family go out to dinner, then tip the waitress an awesome tip of $500. So the brother did that, and then the whole thing went viral. It got over $60k in donations and now the brother is going around the country visiting restaurants, tipping the waiter/waitress $500 and video taping it all, while sharing Aarons story. Just fantastic videos and the reactions are great.
I hope more people come up with ideas like that when they die. There was a recent story of a guy who went to Tim Hortons, gave $500 and said to pay for everyone who orders a large coffee. It’s now catching on – here’s a story of it happening a ton all over Canada. I love that. People don’t give a crap about saving $1.50 – it’s more the gesture, and the story behind it, and the good feeling behind it all. I bet you there were a lot of people having a crappy day – and just that small gesture was able to put a smile on their face.
9 Actors Who Do the Exact Same Thing on Every Movie Poster: Cracked article. Just tremendous. The content they are able to come up with on a daily basis never fails to amaze me.
Handheld Retro Games: Man, remember these bloody things? Kids today are so lucky they never have to play them. I remember bugging my mum constantly to get them, and they were just the biggest pieces of crap ever. This site allows you to play them and even with all the retro good feelings going on, I still couldn’t play them for over 5 whole seconds.
Psychology of Colour: Good article. A lot of people probably never consider colour in that regard when it comes to building a website. Of course like anything – test it out yourself.
Best Windows Apps in 2013: Good article on Lifehacker. I must confess I’ve got it bookmarked and haven’t went through it all yet – but I’ve skimmed it and there’s a lot of good stuff there. Some great resources for webmasters.
The Anatomy of a Perfect Web Page: Fascinating reading, very in-depth with a TON of links to other articles etc. Is it sunny outside? Take the laptop or tablet, a notepad and pen and a nice cold drink and spend your Monday afternoon going through that.
Well That’s It For Me….
But before I go, I’ll link you to one last Cracked article. 21 Awesome Real Easter Eggs Hidden on the Internet.
I figured that’d go with the theme of this TTIM – because you’ll end up wasting a ton of time just checking each one out!
Have a great week.