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.
YouTube vs Blogging: How to Determine Which One is Best For You
Content marketing of all types is only continuing to grow in popularity, and if you haven’t started jumping on the content bandwagon yet, it’s time. The major issue that most people have is where to start making their content.
When it comes to starting your content marketing efforts, there are two major mediums you should look into using when you are starting off: blogs and videos. These are the two easiest places to start that show the highest engagement, but which one do you choose?
Let’s take a look at the differences with video content and blogging, to figure out which one you should jump into first.
Video Content on YouTube
Making video content is a great place to start your content creation, but there is a catch. Making high-quality video can be expensive and time-consuming. Most of the expense comes upfront in the form of buying a quality camera and editing software. If you already have those, congratulations, the bar of entry just dropped. Video is a great way to connect with your viewers in one of the most personal formats available online. On top of that, video is one of those mediums that keeps growing year after year.
However, if the idea of getting in front of the camera and being the face and sound of your brand, there are plenty of other alternatives as well. For example, explainer videos works extremely well on both YouTube, social media, and as blog content. And what’s even better, is that there are plenty of low cost and reliable drag and drop solutions out there for creating your own short black and white videos in just a few minutes time.
No matter what type of videos you want to create, the growth of video keeps going up because of the rise in smartphone use. These little devices make it easier for people to connect with the internet because the access is in their pocket.
When you start making videos, you want to create a video production timeline. This includes everything from finding the right people to the video storyboard and production to final edits.
Formatting Your Video Content
There is a great format that big agencies and companies use to create their videos, and if you plan to make video content, you should use this format too.
The best video format looks like this:
- The Hook (10 seconds of something later in the video to interest viewers)
- This can also be replaced with an introduction.
- An Intro (A recurring introduction you use for all your videos)
- Pose a Problem (show a general problem that many people have that your product or services fixes)
- Show the Solution (show how your product or service takes care of the problem)
- Ask for Action (tell them how to take the next steps in case they are already sold)
- Destroy Doubt with Testimonials (take the time to fill in holes that people might see in the pitch. This can be done with testimonials, footage of the item being used in different ways, or explaining further detail about the potential you are offering)
- Sign of by Asking for More Action (again tell them where to go or what to do)
If you format your videos in the manner, you are more likely to develop an interest in engagement from your customer. If your goal is to create one of the most viewed YouTube videos this year, you should really look into this format. Think about it, if you have ever seen an infomercial, you have seen this format, and it’s proven to work with the test of time.
Blogging is another great place to start, and it has one major advantage over video, the cost of entry. If you can write, you can blog. All it takes is a place to showcase those blogs, and that is ultimately cheaper than any camera you can buy for video production.
The only major downside to blogging is not having the knowledge or knowhow to make those posts rank organically. The biggest things you can learn to help your blogging succeed are keyword research, blog style, keeping it simple.
There are specific keywords that relate to your post that will give your blog more potential to pull organic traffic. Basically, if the term is highly searched and you use it in your post, you have the opportunity to rank for that term as the search engine bots index your page. This can also be done for your video titles.
Style is important when you are trying to set up a successful blog post. If you just write a block of content and post it online, it might be hard for search engine bots to determine it’s meaning and value. You want to break up your content with headings that describe the sections readers are about to read.
If you are wondering what that looks like, you can look at this post. If you really want to know what it takes to have the best setup possible for a post, you want to look into something like HubSpot’s inbound marketing course. This course will take you through the requirements and styles of great content, and it gives you a great framework to build your blog posts with. The best part of this course is the price: free.
Keeping it Simple
Remember, you are being ranked by robots, and although they can do some amazing things with the information they are given, robots perform better with simple tasks. That means keeping your writing simple will help the bots rank your content easier. If you can explain the topic the best with the easiest to understand terminology, you are likely to rank higher than using complex sentence structures and words. The rule of thumb you should shoot for is writing at a 5th-grade level when possible.
If You Can, Do Both YouTube and Blog Content
If you are wondering which is better than the other, there is no right answer when it comes to creating quality content for your audience.
The only truly right answer is that doing both together will create a better user experience than one or the other. When you put the power of video with the organic rankings of keywords in blog content, you get a more developed piece of content that has a higher potential to net you rankings in the search engine results.
14 Social Media Tips For Attracting Gen Z Audiences in 2019
As the workforce and consumer market’s next up-and-coming demographic, Gen Z is an attractive target audience for many businesses. Depending on your company, you may want to consider this audience in your social media efforts to engage prospective customers and employees. However, it’s important to remember that each generation has their own unique preferences — what worked in attracting millennials, for instance, won’t necessarily work for Gen Z.
To help you target Generation Z on social media, we asked a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members for some tips they’ve used to successful appeal to this audience. Here is what they advise:
I think that personalization is one of the best ways to appeal to Gen Z on social media. Studies show that more people want to see personalized content and advertisements than ever before, starting with Gen Z. We can use this love of personalized experiences to create content playlists and advertisements that appeal to this crowd.
2. Influencer Marketing
Studies have shown that the Gen Z audience relates more to influencers than celebrities, so influencer marketing on social media is a great way to connect with them. When they see someone that they can relate to using a product, they’re more likely to buy that product too. Influencer marketing is a form of social proof that the Gen Z audience can trust.
One of the best ways to generate leads for your business, especially with the Gen Z crowd, is by having a chatbot available on your social media account to answer any questions. Live chat reps are good for some tasks, but if a customer has a common inquiry, you could implement a chatbot to help resolve these questions or concerns in seconds.
4. Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are widely popular with the Gen Z audience. Instagram Stories are great because they’re short and engaging, which is perfect for an audience with a shorter attention span. With so much content on the internet, it’s important to get information across quickly and in an entertaining way.
5. Answer Their Questions
Gen Z prefers to engage with businesses on a more personal level, so taking time to answer their hard-pressed questions when other brands ignore them can set you apart from the rest. Try to solve their pain points and figure out what they need help with so they look to you as an expert and appreciate what you can give them.
6. Video Content
Blog content is great and capable of getting millions of views, but Gen Z seems to prefer video content over traditional text. I like to mix it up by creating a blog post, then creating a short video version of the article for people who prefer this format.
7. Leverage FOMO
People, especially in the younger crowd, hate to feel like they’re missing out on anything important going on. That’s why using FOMO, or fear of missing out, is such an effective method to get their attention on social media. Make it sound urgent that they take some sort of action beneficial to your business. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
8. Focus Your Efforts
Facebook is trending towards the millennial and older group, while Tik Tok, Snapchat and even Instagram are much more appealing to Generation Z. Make sure you focus your efforts on the channels in which your audience exist, then produce content that resonates with them. Short videos, in particular, are very powerful for interacting with this audience.
9. Value-Driven Content
When communicating with Gen Z through my social platforms, I focus on providing some form of value in the content that I share. There is no audience as tech-savvy or as fluent and comfortable with different online platforms as Gen Z, and in turn, they will not be impressed by or respond to something that is not of value to them. Providing value allows you to cut through the clutter and resonate.
10. Mobile Experiences
Go mobile, because that’s where the Gen Z audience is. Smartphones are what they live by. This can supersede other strategies that might seem effective because, in the interests of the demographics, you have to go to the device where they’re at the most. On that note, your website should be perfectly optimized to mobile.
11. No Filters
If you’ve been following Gen Z on Instagram and other social media, you might have noticed that they don’t spend nearly as much time as, say, millennials to make their feed look polished. Many of them specifically bypass Snapseed and post straight from their phone. The “realness” of this world is what really attracts young people from this generation, so just be real and capitalize on imperfection.
12. Images and Memes
The younger generation has a short attention span. Get your message across quickly by using images and memes. Avoid any marketing message that takes more than 10 seconds to initially consume.
13. Behind-the-Scenes Content
Gen Z is a more self-aware generation. They use social media for entertainment as well as learning. Using video content to give them behind-the-scenes glimpses into the brand, creating how-to videos and using social media for telling compelling stories is the best method to boost engagement. They don’t want to be sold to, so brands need to forge organic connections through their content.
14. Corporate Social Responsibility
Use a social cause to drive your brand and product mission forward. Create social media campaigns and profiles that are associated with improving life. The majority of Gen Z care deeply about making an impact and they want to be aligned with brands and products that do just that. Do this in an engaging way, like through Instagram story, to build a more personal connection this generation craves.
Social Media is the Path to Generation Z
In addition to the many tips and marketing methods listed above, it’s also important to have an effective content creation and marketing strategy in place.
To learn more about what’s working best for bloggers, brands and content marketers on social media, click here for more tips and actionable methods you can start implementing today.
#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!
Search Blogging Tips
Blogging3 years ago
6 Steps for How I Nabbed 6500 Comments on My Blog
Blogging1 year ago
113 Bloggers share their Favorite Email Marketing Tools
Reviews2 years ago
LeadNetwork Pays Big Bucks for Payday Loans
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
Blogging2 years ago
How to Start a Fashion Blog in 8 Simple Steps
Blogging3 years ago
How to Become a Nimble Blogger