Instagram has a cool new feature that only appears after you wait 5 seconds

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Instagram loves to secretly test new features on some of its users and get feedback before deciding on whether it should roll them out for everyone.

But over the last few weeks, the company added a new commenting feature that you won’t see unless you look at a post for more than five seconds.

Before you go ahead and try it, make sure you update the app to the latest version.

Once you’ve done that, go to your Instagram feed and scroll down to a post. Wait five seconds and you’ll should see an “Add a comment…” box appear, like so: Read more…

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Facebook, not Twitter, will live stream this year’s Golden Globes’ red carpet pre-show

 Facebook has scored the exclusive rights to live stream this year’s Golden Globes’ red carpet pre-show – a deal that last year went to Twitter. On Tuesday, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) and dick clark productions announced the two-hour event would be exclusively available on the Golden Globes Facebook page from 6 to 8 p.m. ET (3 to 5 p.m. PT) on Sunday… Read More

Case Study: The 30-Minute Habit That Transformed Kelly’s Blog

30-minute blogging habit

Today on the blog we have a case study from one of our readers. Or rather one of our podcast listeners, as it was a tip in a particular podcast that spurred on today’s guest author to make some significant changes to her blog over the course of a year. I hope you enjoy Kelly Dunning’s story, and her insights and advice on how she has made the most of one simple habit to banish the guilt of not posting and rediscover her passion for her travel blog Global-Goose.com.

My blog used to make me feel sad and discouraged.

Why?

I loved working on it, but I rarely ever got around to it. I’m a full-time freelance writer with a travel blog as a side project. I spend a lot of time on the road. Like many bloggers out there, my blog is often sidelined by my full-time job and other commitments.

By the time I finished my freelance work at the end of the day, I was tired and wanted to get away from the keyboard.

I made this excuse for years, and while I always got my freelance writing work done my blog was embarrassingly neglected. Sometimes I wouldn’t write a post for weeks, and if I did it would be a small one just to remove the guilt of not posting.

This made me feel awful. I’d started the blog as a passion project. Traveling was the pivotal decision that changed my life.

When I hit the road for the first time, I felt so empowered and excited. I started my travel blog because I found a love for traveling that I wanted to share with others. Unfortunately, I wasn’t doing it as much as I wanted to because I couldn’t find the time. (At least, that’s what I told myself.)

I never struggled to think of things to write about. In my head I had an almost infinite list of blog posts I wanted to write. I just wasn’t making time to write them.

Finally, after a lot of stress and procrastination, I found myself in a rare moment of honest self-reflection. I realized I was just making excuses. Have you ever heard the saying, “If you argue for your limitations, then surely they are yours”? I was definitely guilty of arguing for my own limitations.

I had to get around this “limitation”, and figure out how I could write for my own blog in my spare time after writing all day as a full-time job.

One simple thing completely changed blogging for me.

I decided to spend 30 minutes on my blog every day, before my workday even began. Yup, just 30 minutes. I figured it was small, but it was better than nothing.

That was a year ago, and what a difference it has made.

“It’s Just What I Do”

The idea of a 30 minute per day blogging habit was inspired by one of Darren’s ProBlogger podcasts – “3 Productivity Tips to Help You Build Healthy Habits.” Darren says that when he’s forming a good habit he tells himself, “That’s just what I do.” There’s something very powerful about this. It works as a convincing mantra to help you instil a habit until it becomes something you do without even thinking about it.

So, I started setting a timer first thing in the morning and working on the blog for 30 minutes. Now it’s just what I do.

I started this habit in November 2016, and I’ve kept it up ever since – a full year now. This habit has allowed me to transform my travel blog, and I’ve published more high-quality posts than I ever had before.

Why This Works For Me

Working on my blog every morning for 30 minutes a day has been an effective strategy for me because:

  • It’s a small amount of time that I could always squeeze in, no matter how busy my day was. That’s 3.5 hours per week (14 hours per month) of steady work – certainly more than I was doing before.
  • I would have never been able to carve a 3.5 hour chunk out of my weekly schedule. But 30 minutes per day is always possible. I do it first thing, before any other distractions creep in and take over.
  • With a 30-minute timer ticking down, I use my morning blog time very efficiently and get a lot done in a short amount of time.
  • Since I’m working on my blog a little bit every day, it’s often on my mind and I think of ideas and ways to improve it around the clock.
  • I often find I keep working once the timer rings because I’m engaged in what I’m doing, and want to keep going until I finish that particular task.
  • Working on the blog for 30 minutes in the morning also gets my creative juices flowing, makes my other writing better, and puts me in a great mood.
  • Beginning with a solid 30-minute session of working on the blog means I’ve already accomplished something I’ve set my mind to before I even start my workday. This boosts my confidence, and gives me a great start to the day.

How Has It Made a Difference?

Thirty minutes a day may not seem like much. But it has made a huge difference to my blog over the past year. Looking back on the past 12 months, this is what I’ve achieved:

  • Published 51 blog posts, which is almost one a week. I’ve never managed to maintain the habit of blogging consistently for that long before. And many of these have been long, in-depth, evergreen posts.
  • Updated/improved/fixed errors in countless other posts. I notice these areas for improvement more often because I’m looking at my blog every day.
  • Improved the quality of my blog posts due to the increased practice.
  • Completed a 23,000-word travel guide for my website that I started writing years ago but never finished.
  • Thought about the “Why?” of my blog so I can define exactly how I want to help readers, and then implemented the changes.
  • Increased my Facebook page fans by 1,269.
  • Increased my Twitter followers by 1,570.
  • Increased my blog traffic by 24% (comparing October 2016 to October 2017).
  • Created a user-friendly “Start Here” page to organise my content and help readers find what they’re looking for.
  • Started and maintained a Pinterest Account, and designed beautiful pins to promote my posts.
  • Made a page and a Google Form for guest post submissions, and worked with guest authors to create blog posts.
  • Wrote several guest posts that were published on relevant websites in my niche.

I’m not saying this is miraculous. Some blogs have certainly grown faster than mine. But I’m proud of what I’ve  achieved in the past year because without this simple habit I wouldn’t have done nearly this much.

Yes, I could have done a lot more if I’d been working on my blog full-time. But that just wasn’t realistic for me with my full time job. With this habit, I could make it work around my other commitments.

I work on a blog post nearly every day, and it usually takes me several days to to complete one from start to finish. Sometimes it takes a while because I’ve created some long and in-depth guides that are 3,000-5,000 words long. (I’ve learned that juicy, detailed and helpful blog posts give the best experience for my readers, so that’s what I’ve been focusing on.)

One of the most important differences is the way I feel about my blog. Instead of making me feel embarrassed, futile and frustrated, my blog makes me so happy right now. This habit means my blog is no longer a side project I feel guilty for neglecting, but rather an active, thriving blog with a steadily growing readership. Every day when I get up in the morning, I’m excited to work on it.

A couple of weeks ago one of my readers emailed to let me know that one of my posts had been incredibly helpful for them, and was the inspiration for them to travel abroad for the first time. Knowing I made a profound positive impact on someone’s life is such a rewarding feeling.

Plus, my blog now serves as a much better showcase of my writing skills, and is a more effective portfolio when applying for freelance writing jobs. I’ve been getting more and better writing projects in the past year, and I think there’s a direct correlation.

What If I Miss a Day?

Now before you assume I’m some kind of super-woman, I admit I don’t do this perfectly. I don’t always achieve the 30 minutes every day. Sometimes I wake up late. Sometimes I’m not feeling well. Sometimes I’m lazy. And sometimes I’m sleeping under the stars in the Australian outback with no computer.

But the habit is ingrained now, so if I miss one day I’m usually right back on it the next morning. After all, it’s just what I do. I’ve decided that it’s unrealistic to expect I won’t miss a day every now and then. That’s fine with me. But I make sure that missing days is an exception and doesn’t happen that often.

I’ve found that achieving success when working towards a long-term goal (like building an awesome blog) depends more on cumulative habits than what you do on any given day. It’s kind of like living a healthy lifestyle. If you have a long-term habit of exercising regularly, and you eat healthy food on most days, treating yourself to a double-fudge brownie every now and then won’t make too much of a difference because it’s the exception rather than the norm.

How I Make The Most of My 30 Minutes a Day

I’m often amazed at how long 30 minutes can actually feel. When I’m focused, I can get a surprising amount of work done in this time. I can usually write 600-800 words in a morning session. Then, when I finish a post, I use the next couple of 30-minute sessions to work on uploading to WordPress, formatting, adding images, publishing, promoting on social media and all other follow-up actions.

Here’s how I make my 30 minutes really count:

  • I put my phone away so I’m not distracted. If I whittle away the 30 minutes checking Facebook notifications, I won’t get another chance to work on my blog until the following day.
  • I listen to classical music on my headphones because it tunes everything out and helps me stay focused.
  • I use Trello to organise everything I’m working on for the blog. I have separate columns for Blog Post Ideas, Blog Posts in Progress, Miscellaneous Tasks to Complete for the Blog, etc. It helps me see the big picture and figure out what needs to be done next.
  • I have at least two different blog posts on the go at any given time, so if I’m not feeling inspired to write about a particular topic that morning or if I hit a block, I can spend the time working on something else.
  • I have other blog-related tasks for the days when I want to take a break from writing. This includes scheduling social media, uploading blog posts, adding photos, creating Pinterest graphics, reaching out to influencers, etc.

This simple habit has helped my blogging enormously, and might help you if you’re busy and struggling to find time to blog.

I challenge you to find 30 minutes in your day to work on your blog, whether it’s in the morning like me, at the end of the day, or whenever works for you. It may not seem like a lot, but it really does make a difference.

Bio:

Kelly Dunning is a Canadian freelance travel writer. She lives a nomadic lifestyle with no fixed address, working from the road since 2011 with her partner Lee, a web designer from England. They’ve traveled to more than 50 countries, and offer travel tips, stories and inspiration on Global-Goose.com.

The post Case Study: The 30-Minute Habit That Transformed Kelly’s Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

Dril, Twitter’s weirdest hero, just got doxxed – and the internet is sad

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The internet can be a disturbing, sad place. It takes a special kind of hero to remind us that its darkest corners can also be filled with joy. That hero is @dril, an embodiment of so-called “weird Twitter” who has – like some kind of joke-slinging caped crusader – remained an anonymous beacon of shining light. 

Anonymous until yesterday, that is. That’s right, someone went ahead and doxxed him, and the internet is really bummed about it. 

While we won’t reveal his name here, it turns out someone posted dril’s alleged identity to Tumblr, and the internet immediately facepalmed straight into a “this is why we can’t have nice things” spiral.  Read more…

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Covert influence is the new money laundering

As more media companies realize Russia bought advertising space or promoted news stories – fake and otherwise – on their platforms, covert influence has become the new money laundering. Both activities hide below the surface of legitimate enterprises, cast a shadow of disrepute on those very enterprises and can be neutralized through transparency and accountability. Read More

Congress grills Facebook, Twitter, Google on shells hiding election meddlers

How can Internet giants know that innocent-seeming US companies aren’t actually shell vehicles for malicious foreign actors to buy ads to interfere with elections? The short answer is they can’t, and that drew questioning from a congressional probe today into Facebook, Twitter, and Google being used to manipulate the 2016 presidential election. The hearing saw Facebook’s Read More

Facebook attacks Pinterest with ‘Sets’ of posts

Identity is prismatic. You show different sides of yourself to different friends in your life. Now Facebook wants to let you share the niches of your interests while stealing thunder from Pinterest’s boards. Facebook is now testing a feature called Sets that lets youselect several status updates, photos or videos and share them as a themed collection to everyone or specific friends. Read More

Give Influencer Content Programs a Promotional Edge with Digital Advertising

It happens almost every single time. I’m finally settling in to stream a few episodes before I go to bed for the day. I fire up the old Netflix machine and there it is options lots of them.

There are shows I’ve seen before that I might want to watch again. Genres that I’m interested in. Highly rated shows. Maybe I watch one of those trending shows that everyone is talking about? I mean I’ve never seen that Making a Murderer show did I miss out on that one? My mind continues to jump around with the unlimited options in front of me.

When you have virtually unlimited options in front of you it’s almost impossible to make a choice. This is probably why I’ve watched the American version of the Office about one million times (either that or it’s a really good show).

As marketers we consistently run into situations like this. We are asked to promote a product or a service or a piece of content and when we sit down at our desk we are hit with so many options. We have to choose the right channel, the right audience, the right messaging, the right offer, the right image, the right Anyone else getting cold sweats just thinking about this?

I want to help you with this problem. Specifically as it relates to influencer content (because that presents a whole new set of challenges that need to be addressed).

Promoting Influencer Content With Digital Advertising

Why focus on influencer marketing? In my opinion influencer marketing is one of the most challenging thing to promote with paid digital advertising. Many people look at influencer marketing and content marketing in general as some magical piece of content that, when published, turns prospects into customers in a completely organic way.

In reality, simply creating great influencer content is not enough. Right now, as I write this, there are over one billion websites (in fact the number grew by about 500 in the time it took me to finish that sentence).

So what does that mean? In very broad and simple terms you aren’t the only one that has to make a lot of choices. So when it comes to influencer content you have to help your audience find it and help them choose it.

5 Steps to Promoting Influence Content with Digital Advertising

The 5 steps below will help you successfully promote your influencer content with digital advertising in a way that attracts and entices your target audience.

Step 1. Change How You Think About Influencer Content

Often marketers don’t change their approach to promotion when deploying an influencer driven content campaign. Instead of thinking of your influencer content as a part of your standard marketing mix think of it as a product.

This is really important. You are not promoting content, you’re not boosting a post, you are selling influencer content. That is your job.

Step 2. Know Your Audience

It seems simple, but is often overlooked. But did you know that now you can really know your audience. For example, if you are using Twitter you can gather awesome insights with Twitter Analytics.

I mean take a look at this.

The top lifestyle type in my organic audience is Online Buyers. I can make assumptions from this. For example, one thing that is often debated is how much info do I ask a prospect to give in exchange for a gated asset? Well an online buyer is comfortable giving over name, phone number, address, credit card info, and more in exchange for goods.

This information can help you determine what to charge or how much information you should ask for in exchange for content.

You can gather similar information using tools such as Google Analytics Demographics and Interests and the Facebook Audience Insights tool.

Step 3. Segment Your Audience

Knowing your audience is important. Segmenting your audience is even more essential.

Don’t make the mistake of lumping everyone together into one audience when promoting your influencer driven content. While this tactic may be necessary if you are working with a really small audience, a larger audience that you can segment will allow you to tailor your message to a smaller, specific group of people.

For example, let’s say that you have created influencer content to target HR professionals. It’s possible that you could segment that audience by tenure in the HR industry.

With an audience like this you could tailor your call to action like so.

  • Tenure of 0-5 years Jumpstart your HR career with.
  • Tenure of 5-15 years Bring your HR career to the next level with
  • Tenure of 15+ years Learn from the top HR professionals

Segmenting your audience can help you tailor your sales pitch. Remember, you are selling your content not promoting it.

Step 4. Challenge Your Assumptions

What’s the one thing I have heard more than anything else when it comes to promoting B2B influencer content with digital media? Give up? It’s this, we are a B2B company so we only want to promote this on LinkedIn.

Well first of all, we are selling the content not promoting it. Second of all, you don’t think those same professionals have a Facebook account?

Facebook is on pace to hit 2 billion users. I’m willing to guess that some of those 2 billion users are in the market for B2B goods and services.

Challenging your assumptions has it’s rewards. Currently I am running a campaign for a B2B company and the results look like this

Challenging assumptions and running a campaign on Twitter was a great bet!

Step 5. Don’t Fall in Love With Your Bets

It’s bound to happen. You’ll do all of the tips above. You’ll create a segmented audience on a social network that sits outside of your assumptions. You’ll create tailored calls to action and you’ll fall in love.

Then it happens nothing happens it fails.

When it fails, one of two things normally happen.

  1. Marketers ignore the failure in disbelief
  2. Marketers say, just give it more time. One more conversion will make this look better.

Neither of these are going to change anything. In this situation only one thing will work.

Make some changes.

Change your ad copy. Broaden your audience. Change your bids. Try to identify why it isn’t working and fix it.

The Keys to Promoting Influencer Content With Paid Digital Advertising

So there you have it, 5 keys to promoting content with digital advertising. Below is a quick recap that you can use of a checklist of sorts to begin guiding your influencer content and digital advertising journey:

  1. Remember you’re selling your content not promoting it.
  2. Know your audience. Use tools to understand their online behavior.
  3. Segment your audience. Tailor your message in a way that speaks to the individuals in your audience.
  4. Challenge your assumptions. Try something new. Run tests.
  5. Don’t fall in love. Make changes quickly and don’t wait for a campaign to turn into what you want it to be.

I know you have over a billion options to choose from when it comes to internet content. Thanks for choosing this piece. I’d love to hear about any time you challenged an assumption and won or when you fell in love with a campaign. Feel free to share your insights in the comments below.


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The post Give Influencer Content Programs a Promotional Edge with Digital Advertising appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank.

Facebook said to be working on dedicated video chat device

Facebook is reportedly working on dedicated video chat hardware, per a new report by Bloomberg. The device is said to be the inaugural major product from Facebook’s hardware-focused Building 8 product development lab, and will include a notebook-sized display. It’s intended to make video chat participants separated geographically feel like they’re together in the same space, Read More