Thursday, March 26, 2009

Market Your Video with YouTube's Video Response Option

Using YouTube as a distribution option for's podcasts has been quite successful. YouTube consistently accounts for about half of all the downloads or views of the podcast videos. One of the options YouTube provides is the ability to easily embed a video on a web page, and this is an option that is used all over and several of the associated blogs.

One option I overlooked until this week was using the video response option in YouTube. It works just like a text comment, except you use a video. If you already have a video on YouTube, it just takes couple of clicks to place the link. The really popular videos with tens or even hundreds of thousands of text comments often have at most a few video responses.

It took me about two seconds to come up with a very easy marketing tool--find the most popular video that is relevant to one of's YouTube videos and add a video response. I did this for at least 25 of the 45 videos now on YouTube, and early results show at least a 50% increase in daily views. I'll wait a couple of weeks before I believe it to be a long term trend, but so far the response is better than I expected.

One of the side benefits of looking for an appropriate video to respond to is that I've discovered some very unusual airline safety and security videos. The one that stands out the most is a rap video about the TSA by a group called the T.S.A. Gangstaz. It is rude, lewd, totally inappropriate for minors, politically incorrect, completely unsafe for work, and it has over half a million views. If a small percentage of the viewers of the anti-TSA rap video follow my link and end up viewing informational and educational TSA video, then I'll consider the video response a success.

Warning: If you follow the link to the video, you will see how I've implemented the video response option, but if your manager is looking over your shoulder, you'll have some explaining to do.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A 5 Step SEO Process for Your New Site or Blog

When you are in the planning stages for a new web site or blog, there are a few basic steps you can take to make that site or blog interesting to your audience and attractive to search engines.

These days, when you are starting a new web site or blog, it helps to plan your content so that it is interesting to your audience and also attractive to search engines. One thing that helps to accomplish both is to have unique content. Even if you are reusing your own material from another web site or blog, you should put in a few changes to update it for the audience and to keep search engines from thinking that it is duplicate content that should be ignored.

Making a site more attractive to search engine is one of the best ways to grow an audience since because potential new users will be able to find your site or blog while searching for something related to content. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the big buzz phrase you may have heard about, and if you think you should know something about it, you are right. The 5 step SEO process used when AirSafe Media creates a new site or blog is pretty simple, very free, and after reading this post you may want to use the process yourself.

Step 1: Plan on Making it Useful to Your Audience
Unique content should be the foundation of your site or blog, as well as an understanding of what your audience wants. The basic AirSafe Media philosophy is a simple one--give the people what they want, and just a little of what I think they need. Keep this in mind as you add content to your site or your blog.

Step 2: Find the Best Sites and Blogs on the Subject
Whatever it is you are planning to do, someone else has probably done it before. If you can find the very best sites or blogs in your area of interest, you will probably find excellent examples of what to do, what not to do, and where you can best contribute. Finding the sites can be difficult, or it can be easy. In my book Parenting and the Internet, I laid out a detailed procedure for making that happen. If you subscribe to the Speedbrake Publishing mailing list, your confirmation email will have a link to the free PDF ebook. The details are on pages 163-169 of that document.

Step 3: Find the Hottest Keywords and Key Phrases on Those Sites
Once you have a list of these key sites, put them through Google's Keyword Tool to find out the most relevant and popular keywords or key phrases that are associated with these sites. These top sites became that way in part because the sites ranked highly in relevant search engine searches. If these words and phrases are relevant to your site or blog, then using them will make it easier for a new visitor to find you.

Step 4: Find Out the Trends of These Keywords and Key Phrases
Once you identify keywords and key phrases of interest, you should get an idea of how often people use those terms in searches. Google Trends can easily show what terms are on the upswing and what terms are on the way out. You can even compare two terms to see which ones are doing better. You can use this tool to figure out which of your many alternative words or phrases you may want to use, or if you want to use some more than others.

Step 5: Put These Keywords or Key Phrases in Your Site or Blog
If you have done your work it Step 1, you probably have a lot of these words and phrases already in your content. Remember that you want to make your work useful to your audience, so only add the keywords and key phrases in Step 3 if it makes sense in the context of your work. You should also include these words and phrases whenever possible within the HTML tags for the page title and description, as well as in the 'alt' field for any image tag that you use. Also, try to put them in the heading tags as well as in the body of your text.

An Case Study
While you should go through all the steps if you are designing a new site or blog, you can use parts of the process for a smaller effort within an active site. I was adding a podcasting section to my site, and I wanted to figure out what kind of podcasting related terms I should include on the pages in that section (Step 4 and Step 5). I found out during my research that podcasting was a kind of social media. I did a Google Trends search for phrase 'social media' and the term 'podcasting' and found that the use of 'social media' was on a long term upswing and the second on a downward slope. I also did a comparison of the two terms and found that 'podcasting' was getting many more searches. I originally thought about adjusting the content to fit in the phrase 'social media' but decided against that idea after I finished my evaluation.

Your Next Step
Don't just sit there, take some action. At the very least, sign up to get a free copy of Parenting and the Internet. I guarantee there are at least a half dozen other things in that book that you could use right now.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Using Gmail to Find Mailing Lists That Sell or Give Your Email Address to Spammers

I was listening to the podcast the other day, and it mentioned a very interesting way to use Gmail to find mailing lists that sell or give away your email address to spammers. In short, if you add a '+' and additional characters after the user name (before the '@' sign), Gmail ignores that and will deliver the email to the normal address.

Why would this be useful to you? Let's say you need to sign up for many mailing lists using the same email address, and you want to be able to figure out which mailing list may have allowed your email address to fall into the hands of spammers. The solution is simple, sign into each mailing list with a unique identifier. For example, if you were to subscribe to the Speedbrake Publishing mailing list and you had the Gmail address, join the list using Email to that address will still come to address even though it was addressed to

Try it yourself. If you have a Gmail account (if not, get one set up for free at, and then join the Speedbrake Publishing mailing list at with '+speedbrake' inserted before the '@' sign. After you finish the signup process, you will get a confirmation email. By the way, this confirmation email gives you a link to a free copy of my book Parenting and the Internet, which is a useful guide for managing the online affairs of your child.

Do this for all of your new mailing lists, using of course a different identifier for each, and if you start getting unsolicited emails, you can easily identify who did you wrong and take appropriate action.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Multitask Your Email Management System

If you have an ongoing relationship with an audience, you are probably using several methods to keep in contact such as podcasts, blogs, mailing lists, and Twitter. To make life easy for you, it makes sense to make them all work together. The following is an example from the aviation safety web site

Whenever the site creates a new podcast, a notice about that podcast is placed on the site's news blog. The mailing list used by automatically reads the updated RSS feed from the news blog, and sends out an email to all the subscribers that has the title of the blog post along with a link to that post. That same list is also tied into's Twitter account, so that those who prefer using Twitter over a mailing list will also get notified.

Using a mailing list with the option of notifying multiple channels of communication is much more convenient way to manage your audience and frees you from making a separate effort to notify each audience segment. For more information on the mailing list system used by, visit

If method of managing customer relationships sounds interesting to you and you would like to test the system for yourself, you can take a free test drive of the system by signing up below:

Take a Free Test Drive today!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Abraham Lincoln, the Gettysburg Address, and Your Blog

How long should a blog entry be? Like an email, a blog entry can be as long or as short as you want it to be. Usually, problems arise with blog posts that are too long rather than those that are too short. While there are no hard and fast rules about the maximum length of a post, there is one rule inspired by a 19th century writer that that provides a useful guide for today’s writers.

President Abraham Lincoln’s address at the dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg, PA, on November 19, 1863 was a speech of only 266 words that was both a powerful message on the principles of democratic government and a shining example of how a short message can speak volumes. This speech also provides the inspiration for the Gettysburg Criterion for email that I wrote about in my book Parenting and the Internet. This is a rule that the text in the body of an email should be shorter than the Gettysburg Address. If the rule makes sense for email, it should probably make sense for blog entries.

To use the Gettysburg Criterion, get a copy of the Gettysburg Address and keep it nearby when you are writing. When you get though with your rough draft, compare the length to that of the Gettysburg Address. If the draft is longer than Lincoln’s speech, then consider making it shorter. If making it shorter is not an option, then your consider options such as breaking up the posts into two or more posts, or just post a synopsis of your writing in the blog and make the full version available elsewhere such as in a downloadable file.

For your convenience, I’ve included below the text of the version of the Gettysburg Address that is inscribed in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC (punctuation added for clarity):

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

The Gettysburg Criterion is only one way to evaluate your writing. If you can write a post that is much longer or much shorter but that is also effective, then do so. If using the Gettysburg Criterion encourages you to take time and energy to become a better writer then, it will probably help you in ways that go far beyond your next blog entry.

You can download a free copy of Parenting and the Internet, including the Gettysburg Criterion, at