It wasn’t that long ago that, for bloggers and other Webmasters, being on the front page of Digg was something of a Holy Grail. It meant an instant tidal wave of traffic, a lot of great publicity and, of course, major bragging rights.
However, Digg’s traffic, since the launch of the “New Digg” in August has waned. Though it is certainly still a traffic powerhouse, it’s no longer end goal for bloggers and webmasters, especially now that the front page of Digg is different for almost every logged in user.
In short, Digg is no longer the guaranteed traffic rush that it once was and, though sites continue to target it, it is no longer a lone champion or clear leader like it once was.
So what site or service could take Digg’s place? It’s a hard question to answer, especially since there may never be another site quite like the old Digg. But there are candidates that could do it or at least create something similar. Consider the following:
Reddit is the natural choice for most. As a social news site, it’s similar to Digg in many ways, namely that users submit stories and vote them up or down until they reach the front page or fall off, but it’s also very different in many regards as well.
First, where all of Digg’s content links out, much of the content that climbs the charts in Reddit is self posts and image links. Most of the links that do point to other sites go to mainstream media outlets or a small number of high-profile blogs. Very few blogs, especially ones not about technology or politics, reach the default front page of Reddit.
But also like Digg, Reddit is fragmented with the front page being different from user to user and users being further divided into subreddits. Though Reddit can be a huge driver of traffic (according to Alexa it’s been more popular since New Digg was launched), from a webmaster standpoint, it’s a completely different beast than Digg, especially in terms of targeting.
Many think that the problem is that sites like Digg have become obsolete and the Web has gone from social news to social networking. If that’s the case, Twitter is a logical choice as it certainly has a great deal of traffic, millions of active users and, most importantly, an extremely viral nature.
However, few people read everything in their Twitter stream and nearly everyone sticks to their particular circle, no matter how large or small it is. This means that, for a story to generate an extremely large volume of traffic, it has to either be picked up in a very viral way by hundreds of separate users or simply be tweeted out by a major Twitter user or celebrity.
Facebook has many of the same advantages of Twitter including an even larger user base, powerful sharing tools and a robust network of tightly-connected individuals. However, Facebook just isn’t nearly as viral as Twitter, though people routinely share links on Facebook, they don’t share links from those they are as following as Twitter, partially because Facebook doesn’t have a “retweet” culture like Twitter.
Facebook, for the most part, works best with sites that already have a large volume of traffic, giving them a good number of people to post their content. Of course, as with Twitter, there is as lot of traffic to be found by targeting power users, however, that’s hardly a substitute for the (slightly) more democratic Digg.
Like Reddit, StumbleUpon passed Digg in traffic (according to Alexa) around the time of New Digg. It’s also a democratic site and one that a wide variety of sites seem to do well on. Users Stumble posts, users who might be interested in it are shown the article, they then vote up or down and, the more thumbis up a page gets, the more views it gets.
Indeed StumbleUpon can drive a LOT of traffic. But StumbleUpon is not a site as much as it is an extension or a bookmarklet. Also, as great as a StumbleUpon swarm is, the effect tends to be more drawn out, taking, at times, over days.
This means that there is no front page to reach and no way to know how large the swarm was, other than looking at your traffic.
Of the four above, StumbleUpon is probably the most Digg-like, that is, at least for bloggers. It provides a strong burst of traffic, one that can, at its peak, easily compete with the Digg effect. It also has a good combination of democracy and targeting that gives just about any site a good shot at seeing massive amounts of traffic, so long as it has good content.
But that being said, there’s nothing out there right now, nor likely to be for some time, that’s like what Digg was. There’s no runaway leader is social news, no site that every blogger pines to get their work on the front page of. While there are some great niche alternatives, there’s nothing with the same presence and dominance as old Digg.
However, that might not be such a bad thing. Given that many felt that the traffic from Digg was of such poor quality, the alternatives that are out there may not generate as much traffic, but they may generate higher-quality traffic. This means fewer visitors, but more actual readers.
In short, the direction social news and social networking is taking is one that gets away from a system with one king that serves everyone and provides a tidal wave of traffic to a system that better targets content to the interests of readers, sending fewer visitors, but more engaged ones.
Though bloggers may not feel the high of a Digg effect for some time, they may feel a much greater one, the joy that comes from a steady stream of dedicated traffic built up over a long period of time.
#1 YouTube Banner Template: How to Create a Custom Banner for Free
The world’s population watches almost 5 billion YouTube videos every single day. That means YouTube is a massive market that you’re most likely not utilizing.
But don’t worry, it doesn’t take much to get a professional footprint on YouTube. When you’re getting started, one of the most important features to focus on is your YouTube banner.
We’ll go into everything you need to know about creating a YouTube banner. Towards the end, we’ll recommend a few YouTube banner templates to get you started.
What is a YouTube Banner?
When you click on any given YouTube user’s name, YouTube brings you to that user’s channel. Here you can see all their videos and playlists. At the top of the screen is a banner with the YouTuber’s brand. This is a YouTube banner.
Click around on a few different users you follow to get a good idea about the different banners on the market. See what draws your eye and what you do and do not like.
If you’d like to find more tips on how to effectively create and use your YouTube profile page and videos for branding, be sure to check out these quick tips.
What are the Banner Specifications?
When you’re designing your banner, it’s important you follow the right specifications. People are watching YouTube on their phones, tablets, laptops, and even their TV’s. You need to make sure your banner renders properly on all these different screen sizes. You can make sure you get it right by following the specifications.
According to Google, your banner should meet the following specifications:
- Recommended: 2560 x 1440 px
- Minimum for upload: 2048 x 1152 px
- Minimum “safe area” where text and logos are ensured not to be cut off: 1546 x 423 px
- Maximum width: 2560 x 423 px
- File size: 4MB or smaller
What Should I Include in My Banner?
Your banner is a representation of your brand. It should intrigue viewers, and give them a snapshot of what to expect from your channel. Make sure to include your brand name.
Here are the Best YouTube Banner Templates
There are several places you can get a high-quality YouTube banner template for free. Here are a few of our favorites.
Google has its own template designs for YouTube. Makes sense, after all, they do own YouTube.
Adobe is perhaps the best YouTube banner maker app available on the market. They let you create a design for free in minutes with no previous experience.
Canva offers several different template designs. They have available stock photography you can use, or you can use your own images.
It’s Easy and Vital To Get A Quality YouTube Banner
We’ve covered all the basics you need to know to get a quality YouTube banner. We’ve also listed some of the best places to get a YouTube banner template.
Getting a YouTube banner is an important start in a quality YouTube channel, but it’s only the start. Now you have a professional YouTube appearance!
The banner is vital for a professional appearance. But that alone isn’t enough. Regularly post quality videos to build traction for your YouTube presence.
I make over six figures every month and so can you. Sign up below to get instant access to my exact blogging strategy!
Instagram Checkout and the Move Toward Frictionless eCommerce
The number of hurdles standing between online shoppers and completing transactions is dwindling. The path to purchase is getting smoother as retailers move toward frictionless ecommerce. Gone are the days where shoppers must visit an ecommerce website to buy a product, especially if they originally spot the product on a social media platform.
Nowadays, social shopping is capable of enabling people to reduce the number of steps to checkout by allowing them to buy without exiting social media. Instagram Checkout is the latest feature geared toward making it easier to complete deals. Here’s more on this announcement and its potential impact on the ecommerce industry as a whole.
First, What Is Frictionless Ecommerce?
When you hear the word friction, you probably think of resistance. This force can be useful, like using sandpaper to smooth down rough wood. Or this force can be a hindrance, like trying to slide a piece of heavy furniture across the floor. In ecommerce, friction is undesirable because it means shoppers are meeting resistance when they try to proceed through the sales funnel.
Frictionless ecommerce is something sellers are seeking out because it allows them to “integrate buying opportunities as simply and seamlessly as possible into consumers’ everyday activities and natural environments,” according to BLM Technologies.
One of these natural environments is social media, an activity in which many users are spending a larger chunk of each day. It only makes sense to try to sell to people there, rather than requiring them to visit a separate website each time they want to browse or buy.
The ethos behind frictionless ecommerce tells us reducing the number of steps it takes to buy products online will motivate more people to stick around for as long as it takes to convert. Less hassle translates into more sales and a better customer experience.
Of course, it’s still vitally important to set up a responsive, fully featured online store complete with secure checkout. After all, some people won’t use social shopping. Today, leading platforms like Shopify offer free ecommerce website builders to help retailers run their stores. Branching out into frictionless ecommerce in the form of social shopping will help merchants capture even more sales by offering shoppers flexible options.
Building a Trusted Brand and Following Will Still Apply
As you can imagine, with more than a billion active users on the Instagram platform, it’s going to get quite competitive when it comes to ecommerce advertising. With that being said, this is where traditional authentic and organic followers and engagement will come into play.
We recently talked about the power and effectiveness of using a tool like Kicksta to automate the audience targeting and engagement process. For ecommerce and online stores, this is one of the best ways to put your Instagram marketing efforts on auto-pilot, which also reaching new audiences daily.
This also leads to better paid advertising and remarketing options as well. Once a user starts following your account, you have a clear indication that they are interested in what you have to offer.
Set up a new Instagram ad campaign that targets your existing followers, then compare the results with your outside targeting and default ad campaigns. We are sure the existing follower audience set will perform much better. You can visit their website here and watch the short video on their homepage to see how the process works.
The Rise of Instagram Checkout in Ecommerce
Instagram is a highly visual platform, allowing brands to connect with users through engaging images, videos and captions. If you’re an Instagram user, chances are you know the feeling of seeing something you like and wanting to know more about it — or perhaps even conducting an impulse purchase it on the spot.
Instagram Checkout aims to tap into the marketing prowess of this app by “allowing users to complete product purchases without having to leave the app.” It’s all of the convenience of online window shopping without even having to go into the store, except people can still get their hands on the product. Plus, after Instagram users enter their payment data once, the app saves it for future purchases. Thus, the purchasing journey remains inside a single app — making it more convenient and tempting for mobile shoppers who follow their favorite brands online.
At the moment, Instagram Checkout is a feature in beta testing available to about 20 top brands. An advanced version will be available to more merchants down the line, which means we all need to prepare for the wider acceptance of social shopping. Once this becomes the standard, online users will crave ultra-convenient experiences.
Instagram Checkout is an exciting new development on the horizon for ecommerce brands, and stores must embrace the move toward frictionless ecommerce to stay competitive.
7 Instagram Features Every Business Needs to Use for Marketing
Instagram is a fun platform for sharing pictures and video. However, as far as it pertains to businesses, it’s a lot more than that. For businesses, Instagram is a marketing device and quite an effective one at that.
Are you interested in using Instagram to market your business? Then read on. We’re going to teach you about 7 Instagram features which will enhance your business marketing campaigns.
Taking Advantage of Instagram Features When Marketing
A great many of Instagram’s features lend themselves to marketing. The best of these features include the following.
Instagram Stories work in the same way as Snapchat Stories, allowing you to post photos and videos for 24 hours before they disappear. Popular among all types of Instagrammers, they are frequently viewed and are great for attracting new followers.
Businesses have two options when it comes to using Instagram Story video: 1. They can post stories on their own Instagram pages, or 2. They can use Instagram Stories Ads. While the first option will provide some exposure for your business, the second option will provide more.
Why? Because it involves placing ads for your business in between the stories of Instagrammers that you don’t even know. As a result, you’ll be reaching customers who are entirely unfamiliar with your brand.
While Stories Ads cost money to post, they often end up bringing in more money than they cost. In other words, they’re usually worth a try.
2. Push Notifications
Another terrific feature for marketing on Instagram is the push notification. These are notifications which automatically send to specific followers upon the publishing of new posts. They work to keep top followers invested in your page.
Note, however, that getting followers to accept push notifications can be challenging. Unless your content is undeniably great, you’re going to have to be a little aggressive in getting followers to accept push notifications for your page.
One of the keys to doing this is to utilize calls to action. Simply telling visitors to enable push notifications for your page can be quite effective.
The other key is to post great content on a consistent basis while keeping non-value content to a minimum. The more valuable the content you post, the more valuable your page becomes, and the more your followers will want to frequent it. This leads to the enabling of push notifications which, in turn, leads to the conversion of more sales.
If you run a brick-and-mortar business, geotagging is a hugely valuable Instagram feature to utilize. By geotagging the photos you post, you make your business more visible on geographical searches. This is a great way to attract Instagram users who live in the geographical proximity of your business.
Note, however, that you must always be cognizant of whether you have geotagging turned on. If you’re not careful, you could accidentally geotag a photo or video that you wished to leave geographically anonymous.
4. Live Video
One of the best ways to build credibility and authenticity with your Instagram followers is by utilizing live video. Live video occurs in real-time, allowing you to communicate directly with your followers through page comments and voice.
Afraid that you might say something embarrassing? It won’t last for long. Instagram live videos disappear as soon as they’re done being broadcasted, ensuring that your faux pas isn’t picked apart by the masses.
You can use Live Video to discuss project updates, to show off new products, to showcase charitable efforts, and more. It’s all about making yourself and your business more familiar to your followers.
5. Photo Filters
A big part of marketing is building a brand. The goal is to evoke a feeling which is representative of your business. In evoking this feeling, you make your business instantly identifiable among the masses. Photo filters are also great for social profile branding. Take a look at these top brands that are doing social media profile branding correctly, then also consider how you can implement these same visuals into your own branding efforts.
There are a number of ways to do this on Instagram, but one of the most effective ways is through the use of photo filters. Using the same photo filters on all of your posts will provide your Instagram page with an overarching theme. This theme will become part of your brand and will help followers to identify your business.
Our advice is to experiment with different filters until you’ve found something you like. Then, once it’s established, you can hit your followers over the head with it.
When it comes to using Instagram for marketing purposes, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of hashtags. Hashtags are not only vital in building a brand, but in attracting non-followers as well.
Dropping trending hashtags into your posts is a great way to bring your Instagram page into the loop. Not only does it show that you’re part of the culture, but that your page might be worth visiting.
There are also many other famous hashtags too like;
In short, hashtags increase exposure for your business. The more exposure your business gets, the more sales it will convert.
7. Emoji Polls
One last Instagram feature you should consider using is Emoji Polls. These allow you to ask questions and receive direct feedback from your many followers, increasing familiarity among potential customers and allowing potential customers to feel as though their thoughts have an impact on the operation of your business.
One way to use Emoji Polls as a business is to ask followers how they feel about a specific product. However, you don’t need to strictly talk about your business. Inquiries about current events could get followers involved as well.
Learn more about internet marketing and hosting now!
Find More Marketing Tips
There is no shortage of Instagram features, each of which can help businesses to market their products, services, and brand. While the features reviewed above are the most effective for marketing purposes, they comprise only a handful of what you have available to you.
Looking for more marketing tips? Blogging Tips has you covered. We provide information on everything from content marketing to social media marketing and more.
Browse our collection of articles now!
Search Blogging Tips
Blogging2 years ago
6 Steps for How I Nabbed 6500 Comments on My Blog
Blogging11 months ago
113 Bloggers share their Favorite Email Marketing Tools
Blogging12 years ago
CoComment – The new way to track blog comments
Blogging3 years ago
6 Tools For Boosting Content Marketing Results Over The Holidays
Search Engine Optimisation3 years ago
7 SEO Analysis Tools Every Blogger Needs to Know
Reviews2 years ago
LeadNetwork Pays Big Bucks for Payday Loans
Blogging2 years ago
How to Start a Fashion Blog in 8 Simple Steps
Blogging2 years ago
How to Become a Nimble Blogger