You’ve Got Comments. Now What?

Blog CommentsA client of mine asked a question the other day that got me thinking – “What should I do with all the comments on my blog and Facebook page?”  It was a question that required deeper understanding of their meaning, and when I inquired, she told me quite clearly, “We get so many comments that we don’t reply to them all.”

WOW.  That is a very important statement.  You have so many comments that you just don’t reply to them all???  After you give a presentation, do you answer questions?  If someone calls, do you not answer?

Most people are blogging to encourage participation.  I know this particular client certainly is.  She wants to be seen as an expert within her field, and often ends blog posts with questions encouraging responses.

So why, then, wouldn’t they answer each comment?  The easy answer is that they should, and for three main reasons:  comments build community, comments shows that you appreciate the readers time and effort in responding, and they encourage discussion among your readers.

But, there are more subtle ways that comments and your replies will help your blog.  Your answers may encourage more people to comment and weigh in on the discussion.  After all, people aren’t commenting just to hear themselves type.   Comments will also help with search engine optimization (SEO) since it is likely that comments will be re-iterating keywords used within your blog post making you more likely to rank for those keywords.  In addition, comments may use additional keywords that you hadn’t used, thereby helping you rank for those, as well.

In addition, your responses to blog comments help you build credibility and authority, which is most likely one of the reasons that you are blogging in the first place.  By responding to comments, you will be seen as the go-to expert in your specific topic.  It also shows a willingness to debate and learn from your readers.

There are some reasons why replying to all comments is not feasible or necessary, however.  There are some comments that just don’t require a response.  They are those comments like, “I agree!”, “Thanks.”, “Great Job!”  However, I believe any other comments, including ones that are discussing the merits of the blogs, should be addressed.  If you’ve asked for a response, don’t ignore them.

What do you think?  Should all comments be addressed?  What do you do with your own blogs?  How do you handle comments?  Let’s discuss it in the comments, and I’ll make sure to answer!



To Reply or Not to Reply to Blog Comments – That is the Question

Responding (Or Not) to Blog Comments

Should I reply to every blog comment?

5 Reasons Why You Should Respond to Every Comment

Marc Ensign on Digital Business Hour

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Marc EnsignMarc is an Internet Marketing geek specializing in search engine optimization, social media and digital design. His approach to success in search engine optimization and social media is based on embracing the rules as opposed to finding the temporary holes. While everyone else is looking for the easy way out, his methodology is based on putting in the work up front and building sustainable success. Matt Cutts from Google publicly called his strategy “solid” while those that he has worked with have actually benefited from the recent Google algorhythm updates. Marc has a blog where he writes a lot of nifty stuff around Internet Marketing, although he has been known to sneak something in there about his previous time spent as a professional musician. He used to be a fairly successful musician a few years ago…He performed on Broadway, recorded an album with R. Kelly and wrote a bunch of books. In everything Marc does, he tries to keep the language pretty geek-free to make sure that everyone can benefit from what he is speaking about.

How Exact Match Domains Have Weathered the Penguin Storm

Exact match domains have always had the added advantage of direct-type in traffic, giving them certain immunity to algorithm updates. Once an EMD is linked to a website, the webmaster’s behavior has more to do with rankings. Penguin sought out sites with too many exact match anchor text links, but the outcome had more to do with who can get away with it and to what extent. For EMDs, exact anchor text makes up part of the natural link profile.

Brand based anchor text is natural, i.e., and brand name. When your brand is your exact match domain name, your website is not going to set off those same red flags for your exact match keywords. But, what you’ve done with your link profile beyond that is what does come in to play with Penguin. Is the rest of your link profile diversified with partial anchor text, long tail, and a nice mix of click here, visit this site and straight http: links? That’s most likely what sets apart the ones who were impacted by Penguin and those that were not.

Tier 2 pages

What have the exact match sites done with their tier 2 pages? Chances are, most have targeted different keywords for those pages and not focused on as many brand anchor text links. Natural links to tier 2 pages often contain the title tag. Take a look at your back link profile and look how others linked to those pages. That’s a good indicator of what natural linking to those pages looks like.

Meta Data

Another issue any site could run in to is over-optimized title tags. So, if you repeated your keywords in your title tag in a spammy way, i.e. red shoes, cheap red shoes, not only does that page come across as spammy because of the title tag existing on it, but if a user linked to your site with the title tag, that appears spammy, too.

Keep in mind, if you keep on playing with your title tags, you set off a spam alert. If your title tag is webmaster tools compliant, don’t tweak it. Spammers will often watch if their title tag adjustments results in higher or lower rankings and if they drop, they will go back and revert the changes. This is when you get in to trouble. Your server records the file date every time you make a change and Google uses that data to make an evaluation.

Many exact match domains do continue to rank well in Google post Penguin, but no site is immune to future updates. Moving forward, don’t assume that because your website was not affected that it won’t be. We’ll always be left guessing what the next problematic issue will be.



Theresa Happe works with Buy Domains, a leading source of domains for sale, including available and exact match domains.

2012 Direct Marketing Trends – Marketing is Here to Stay

MARKETING IS BACK AND HERE TO STAY!  Yes….Marketers can start to rest easy knowing that businesses are starting to see the value of marketing again.  By reducing marketing budgets over the past two years, companies are seeing a reduction in overall sales and are not happy!  They are starting to be proactive and seek out professional marketers to help them meet their sales objectives. Without marketing…visibility is limited and new opportunities dry up quickly.   Perhaps….CEO’s had to see for themselves the outcome of not marketing their product/service.   As they say “It All Happens For A Reason”.  Perhaps….Management has finally accepted the fact that you can’t live without marketing forever.

Where are we headed in 2012?

Marketing reports are showing that companies have added on new marketing programs in 2012 to include new collateral development, direct mail, and increased trade show presence.  For example, many companies are investing in new trade show booth designs and new glossy 4-color brochures to re-brand their company image.  Companies that have not invested in any marketing activities for the last 5-10 years are coming forward and asking marketers to help steer them in the right direction.  We are seeing more marketing positions open up and marketing consultants are starting to see an increase in their client base.

As stated by The Ballantine Corporation, an area of direct marketing that is projected to see a huge focus in 2012 is targeting and personalization.  It all comes down to relevancy and prospects are more likely to respond if the topic is relevant to them.  They also mentioned another key factor in target marketing in 2012 will be trigger marketing.   Trigger marketing is when specific messages are sent to a prospect/customer based on the trigger of a certain criteria. An example would be a birthday where you receive a direct mail piece offering a discount off of dinner.

Another interesting fact is that people have moved past their negative feelings about direct mail and are starting to respond again.  With the overload of emails in our inboxes, prospects prefer other methods of direct marketing.   The goal is to be smart with your marketing and make sure you are sending relevant messages/offers to your target audience.

Tailored URL’s (PURLs) are also a big item in 2012.  This includes a dedicated url that provides prospects with a web landing page that is customized to their needs.   It can include their name, special offers, information on previous purchases, or a special message just for them.  It’s the wave of the future.

With the buy in from management and CEO’s, marketers can work their magic and create unique marketing campaigns for their clients.   It’s a team effort all around and with the support of the key players, there is no end to a marketer’s success.  The goal should be to keep trying new tactics and find out what works best.  As long as you test and show results for your campaigns….there is nothing to worry about in 2012!


Monique Merhige is the President of Infusion Direct Marketing & Advertising, Inc.  She has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola.  Infusion is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in the security industry and delivers marketing solutions that include Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Branding, Collateral Development, and Social Media Marketing.  Visit: or call 631-846-1558


Funding Your Freelance Writing Business

The greatest aspect of funding your freelance writing business is that you are only as limited as your ambitions, creative talents and the time it takes you to complete writing projects. As a freelance writer you likely have already gained some knowledge on what it takes to win larger projects as well as specific knowledge different clients seek.

It is imperative to create a business plan and set aside some of your income from freelance writing projects. Once you begin building it, funding a small online business will be as easy as paying writers as they complete projects.  When considering funding your freelance writing business, realize that it is a distinct possibility that others may not have the ethical practices you have. Clients have been known to run off without pay, so be prepared emotionally and financially for that possibility as well.

The Basic Requirements

Before you delve into creating a small online business of your own in the writing niche, you need a reliable internet connection, an up-to-date computer and the willingness to work longer hours than you would as a part-time or even a full-time freelance writer. You will likely need at least two to four hours per day to have enough success to ensure your failures are not ‘end-alls’ for your company.

Build on Your Good Name

Outsourcing clients who are happy with you and your team may need larger projects completed. They could also have other affiliates that do. As your own writing career becomes more lucrative, improve upon the portfolios and profiles of your writer-base. Once you have a steady amount of work on your own, strike out from the freelance employee niche and become a freelance employer. Make sure that prospective employers understand you may be a part of a writing group or small online business that caters to clients with larger content needs.

Outsourcing Ethically

Never mislead a client if you are outsourcing jobs they give you. This is not only unethical but can end up costing you your reputation. If a client has agreed that your work is up to their standards and you turn in work from another writer who did not meet those standards, the client will assume you lack consistency and may decide to terminate your contract. Fair assumption, you didn’t supply consistent content, regardless of who created it. On many freelance work sites, the client would win that disagreement in a moderation process.

However, once you have clients with whom you have made clear you will have a group of writers on their project, make sure that each writers work lives up to the standards that you originally provided. This may require that you spend less time writing and a bit more proofreading the work of others. Be financially prepared with a bit of overhead from your own completed assignments in case the proofing or approval process takes a bit longer with larger orders. It will. Expect to spend at least a couple hours per day doing not much else for even the smallest projects.

Don’t Multitask Too Much

The freelance writing world is full of competent writers and websites that clients can be fully satisfied with. For this reason it will become your personal responsibility to see that your freelance writing business stands out among others. Before you go from employee to employer, you may also want to consider building up some funds to invest in marketing. Without a bit of help, the time you spent hunting, managing, and completing projects, will go from around two hours per day to ten. You can not add the much needed element of marketing on top of your many other responsibilities and expect any of them to be highly-effective. You can also expect to find yourself failing at both ends if you do. Certainly be hands-on when it comes to learning how the marketing process works. You will eventually have the time to give that area of your business far more consideration.

Funding your freelance writing business will become much easier if you demand high standards from your employees and perhaps even set up a series of rewards for consistently meeting those high standards. This will return your own private working time back to you, which you can turn over to completing the projects that will be funding your freelance writing business.

Get Started Here @DBMEi

There may be no other place better to start than right here on DBMEi if you are searching for some free freelance writer education as well as practices that you should inject into your own Freelance Writing Business.  Currently we have Megan Campbell, Vanessa Canner,  Leigh Egan, & Megan Harriswho, along with me, all write on Freelance writing  topics here @DBMEi.

Joy Lynskey is the owner of JRL Solutions, a copywriting and content management company based in Bedford, Virginia. JRL Solutions hosts a Freelance Writers Education Blog that is managed by direct and guest posting. Joy is the Content Manager and Editor for Puglisi Consulting Group at Digital Brand Marketing Education. Joy regularly works in SMM via freelance consulting  private clients with their social media campaigns. @JoyLynskey

Understand the Basics of SEO: Why Geo and Subject Domain Names Rock!

Search Engines are in the business of helping a user find the content they are looking for! If you keep this in mind you’ll start off with a great relationship with the Search Engines and the Visitors to your site.

Websites have three main areas you’ll want to really pay attention to:

  1. Structure
  2. Content
  3. References

As a website owner you’ll want this to be how you operate your lead generation through the search engines. Unless you’re an adult site, gambling or daily deal, people will not generally respond to a website about Plumbing when they were searching for Pizza.

Time and Money are important, you’ll get alot further if you concentrate your resources were they should be and where they will produce the highest rate of conversion. If you’re going to chase down multiple areas and categories do it in a way that provides unique, useful and provides a genuine experience for the user.

SEO Tip: Geo & Subject Domains > Brand Domains

An example of how this has been done is through domain masking and forwarding. Take the Domain, now that’s a great domain because people looking for “papa john’s” will find exactly what they are looking for, but will they still find it if they put in “MyTown Pizza” like “Brooklyn Pizza”, “Chicago Pizza”?

Here is an example of how we use forwarding on Digital Brand Marketing Education, the publically promoted domain is and that makes sense because it is short and simple. It makes for easy emails and sharing in social media without having to shorten the domain. However When you land on the site, you notice the actual domain changes to

Search Engines give a lot of value to domains, after all if you’re naming the site that, then those words must be relevant. In our case we want people looking for “Digital, Brand and/or Marketing”  to find our publication and those keywords fit perfectly with our content.

If you own Jerry’s, and your restaurant is in the town or geographic location of East Hampton, you might want to think about masking or forwarding the domain to or

This is just one tip to help with your sites SEO, obviously you want the title tags, content, etc to all also fit this search term.



How Do You Do It? – My Super-Secret (shh!) 6 Tips for Blogging Success

Check out these mind-blowing statistics on this blog:

  • 1,085 Posts
  • Over 72,000 viewers to date
  • In nationwide syndication
  • Publishes on the Kindle
  • Publishes 7 days a week and mostly twice on weekdays (but not on holidays)

Those stats are for the extremely popular blog, Fearless Competitor. Then the question invariably comes up. “We struggle to post once a week. How many writers do you have for Fearless Competitor?” – most expect 8 or more.

The answer is One. One man. The Fearless Competitor!

The next comment is something we hear frequently. How the Hell does one person create so many great posts? I struggle to post once a week!

How Do You Do It?

(In fact, Mike Volpe, Chief Marketing Officer at Hubspot said to me “Jeff, at Hubspot we have many writers for our blog and it publishes frequently. But you are almost as prolific and you’re just one person. I have no idea how you do it.” When you can stump Mike Volpe, you’re doing something right. And Mike invited me to appear on HubspotTV, now called Marketing Update.)

In this post, I’ll share 6 tips on how YOU can learn to be a VERY prolific blogger too. And for each tip, we share an example post from Fearless Competitor, so you can see how it is done.

1. Create one or more weekly events, shows, etc.
Create a regular weekly show – same day, same time each week. Keep doing it. We created the B2B marketing show “Laugh and Learn with Find New Customers“. It runs every Friday at 11am ET. If you post 5 times a week, you’re 20% done.

2. Find inspiration in everything
Read a great article or find a great TV show? Read an interesting blog article? Is there a lesson in it? Then write about your thoughts. Check out ‘5 Lessons a B2B Marketer Can Learn from “Breaking Bad.”’

3. Report on the news
What’s happening in your industry? (Act-On Software buys MarketBridge; Eloqua files to go public.) Something else happening? Share what you think about the news. Check out “The Life Lesson from Plaxico Burress

4. Invite guest posts
Have top experts in your industry? Contact them and invite them to write guest posts for you. Check out “Developing an Integrated Content Marketing Strategy That Works” by Joe Pulizzi, co-author of Get Content, Get Customers.

5. Re-energize old posts
A very cool feature of is the ability to copy posts. Find a really good post you wrote in 2009 and copy it. Then edit it and freshen it up. Bingo. Brand new post! Check out “How to Gain Customer Trust – Insights by Guy Kawasaki” – which I published a couple of times.

6. Use Slideshare.
Take a presentation you did, upload it to Slideshare and record an audio track for it. Then match your audio up in Slideshare. (Contact me if you don’t know how to do this.) Slideshare has a very cool embed feature, so the viewer can see your slideshare right in the blog post. Check out “The Power of B2B Lead Nurturing.” for a great example of embedding a presentation in a blog article.

We also suggest you use your keywords (Like lead generation company) and use them in your blog posts. (Google loves frequently updated blogs.) so it really helps with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). And Hubspot found an active blog gives a company 57% more leads.

We hope you found these tips helpful. What do you think? We love your comments and sharing. Good luck with your blog.


Laugh and Learn with Find New Customers

The Power of B2B Lead Nurturing

How to Gain Customer Trust – Insights by Guy Kawasaki

Developing an Integrated Content Marketing Strategy That Works

The Life Lesson from Plaxico Burress

5 Lessons a B2B Marketer Can Learn from Breaking Bad

Facebook: So My Business Has a Page – Now When do I Post?

850 million people are on Facebook.  That’s 1.7 Billion eyes that have the potential to see and engage with your posts.


But, exactly, when can you guarantee that the most possible eyes will see everything that you are posting?  How do I know if “now” is good enough?

It seems that there is a science to this, and social scientist Dan Zarella from Hubspot, has found that there are specific days and times that are best for posting to Facebook, and specific days that are best for having your posts shared.

As we review the best and worst times to share, something to keep in mind (depending where you are located) is that almost 50% of the population is located on the East Coast of the United States, and therefore, the timing of your posts should take into account this group.

The Best and Worst Days

So, what are the best days to post to Facebook?  The research has shown that the best day to have content shared is Saturday.  That’s right, it seems that this is the day when most people have the time to catch up with their Facebook friends, and share everything that they may have missed throughout the week.

So, when shouldn’t we post?  The days of the week with the lowest shares seem to be Monday and Thursday.  Keep this in mind when looking at your schedule of postings throughout the week.

The Best and Worst Times

Now that we know what the best day of the week to post is, what about timing?  Should I post all day?  Are there specific times when my posts are more likely to be seen?

Glad you asked.  The best time of the day, by far, seems to be noon, with 7pm a close second.  What this means is that your content is more likely to be seen and shared if you post it at 12pm and at 7pm (corresponding to lunch hours and after dinner hours).

The worst?  Any time before 8am and between 1pm and 4pm.  These times are the most likely to have your posts ignored by your fans and followers.

How Many Posts Per Day?

Now that we know the best days and times, just how many posts should we be sharing on a daily basis?  According to the research, the optimum number of posts per day is .5.  What exactly does this mean?  Very clearly, it means don’t overwhelm your followers.  Don’t post 5 times per day, and certainly don’t post numerous items in succession.  We all hate spam, and the more you post, the more likely it will be that your followers will consider your posts to be unnecessary and therefore spam.  You should also re-think your policy of posting daily, as the research indicates this may also overwhelm your fans.

In the end, engaging at any time is worthwhile, and these are only statistics.  Maybe you notice your fans are very active early in the morning.  Or you are trying to reach teachers, with no access to Facebook at noon.  Make sure to take your audience into consideration when determining the best schedule for you and your business.

What’s working for you?  When have you found is best to post?




Social Times

Black Box Social Media

Why Hubspot is the Best – and Worst Marketing Company on Earth

Don’t get me wrong. I love Hubspot. Wonderful people. Great software. A fine company to work for. Heck, I was even a special guest on HubspotTV. And they just raised a boatload of cash. They have a very bright future.

They also produce a ton of great content – blog posts, articles, tips, slide presentations.  They have great tools like and similar offerings. They are growing incredibly fast. Want even more? Check out Why I believe in Hubspot.

That said, I’m shocked that almost no one has a bad word to say about them. Do some searching online and everyone spouts the party line.

I think Hubspot is like an annoying know-it-all.

Here are 3 reasons they are the worst marketing company on Earth.

The incessant nagging is tiresome

  1. If you have a smartphone, get ready for non-stop buzzing. It never ends. 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Eventually you have to say “Enough already!”
  2. They repeat themselves endlessly
    How many times can you hear about Tivo, Caller ID and CAN-SPAM? They are a broken record. Their CMO, Mike Volpe has used the same slides over and over.
  3. They never remember who I am
    See some great content from Hubspot? Click the link. You are taken to a form to complete. Even if you’ve filled out dozens of forms, you have to do it again. In my mind, remembering who I am is basic business process. Heck, even Find New Customers, a small and thinly capitalized firm doesn’t do this. We remember you.

But don’t take my word for it. This article on Hubspot SEO and Social Media lessons takes them to task too. Or check out articles like “8 Ways to Instantly Improve Landing Page Quality.” I’m sorry Hubspot, but “instantly” is pure hyperbole. We all know that nothing in software is instant. And it is nothing like instant coffee.

Hubspot is, in my mind, a pretty young lady who looks very impressive. And she is intelligent and articulate. But ask you get to know her, you realize she is full of herself and won’t stop talking.

That’s HubSpot.



Why  I Believe in Hubspot

Hubspot SEO and Social Media lessons

8 Ways to Instantly Improve Landing Page Quality

Are Your Fans “Talking About This”?

Amidst the rash of new changes Facebook unveiled over the last two weeks, the changes to insights may be some of the most important for businesses.  Facebook’s own analytics system, called Facebook Insights, which provides Pages administrators important metrics with which to gauge their content and interactions.  These insights are available, for free, to every administrator of every fan page within Facebook.  And, up until now, the biggest metric business owners focused on was the all-important “Like”.

That is about to change, as Facebook has introduced several new metrics, one of which is “people talking about,” which appears underneath the number of people that “Like” your page.

Picture courtesy of

 What does “People Talking About” measure?

This new metric will measure user-initiated activity related to the page, which will include posts to the wall by fans, how many posts are “liked”, how many posts receive comments, and whether posts are re-shared.  In addition, interactions such as answering a question posed to fans, mentioning the page within other posts, and even checking into your business will be included within this metric.

Why does “People Talking About” matter?

This new number is a true indication of just how “social” and interactive your fan pages are.  It is also a great motivator for businesses to strive to create consistent ant engaging content within their pages, which in turn will increase the number of people “talking about” their pages, thereby increasing that businesses reach and exposure.

Is there anything else I should know?

In addition to the new metric mentioned above, Facebook has also introduced two other new metrics, “Friends of Fans” and “Weekly Total Reach”.  These metrics are important for businesses to gauge reach and exposure, as the provide information about the number of friends their fans have, giving the business a better understanding of their reach, and “weekly total reach” provides administrators their actual audience, reflecting how many people have interacted with your page or mentioned your business.

How can your business best utilize these new “insights”?

As a small business owner, these numbers can only help you increase your fan engagement and the spread of your message.  Now you are able to see just how many people you are reaching, how many people you have the potential to reach, and how much engagement your posts and questions are receiving.  With this new information, you will be better able to target your message and adjust it to increase fan page interactions.  However, as always, without engaging content, none of these numbers will ultimately matter.

In the end, create engaging content, and your numbers will reflect that.

How will you use these new insights to increase engagement?  How will they help you focus your message?



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