Tag Archive | "Stand"

FCC Chairman to Robocallers: This Is Not Going To Stand!

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai blasted robocallers today in an interview on Fox Business. He said that the FCC has taken aggressive regulatory action and has told the Justice Department that robocalling in one of the FCC’s top consumer protection priorities: “We need you to make this an issue to send a signal to all of the robocallers out there, even the ones who are beyond our shores, that this is not going to stand for America consumers.”

Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, discusses how the FCC is aggressively fighting the annoying and time wasting robocall industry in an interview on Fox Business:

FCC To Robocallers: This is Not Going To Stand

There are two different parts of our plan (to combat robocalls). First, is taking aggressive regulatory action. We have told the industry that we expect them to adopt what is called call authentication. That is essentially a digital fingerprint for every phone call this year. If they don’t, the FCC will take action to make sure that they do.

Secondly, in terms of enforcement, we have imposed fines (totalling $ 205 million since 2015) and we have referred those cases to the Department of Justice which is in charge of collecting those fines. We have emphasized to the Department of Justice that this is one of our top consumer protection priorities. We need you to make this an issue to send a signal to all of the robocallers out there, even the ones who are beyond our shores, that this is not going to stand for America consumers.

FCC Chairman to Robocallers: This Is Not Going To Stand!

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Link Strategies that Stand the Test of Time: A Tribute to Eric Ward (Link Moses) – Whiteboard Friday

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This week, we pay a special tribute to the late SEO pioneer Eric Ward. His link strategies formed the foundation of many of today’s smartest approaches to links, and in this Whiteboard Friday, Rand covers several that are as relevant today as they were when Eric first started talking about them.

Link strategies that stand the test of time

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to a special edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we are paying an honorary tribute to our friend, lost but not forgotten, Eric Ward.

Eric was one of the pioneers of the SEO industry. In fact, he was a link strategist and a creator of links for websites before search engines even valued links on the internet. He was the very first link marketer that Amazon.com hired. He had a testimonial from Jeff Bezos on his website, from Google’s Matt Cutts from many years ago, and worked with hundreds, if not thousands, of organizations to improve their link strategies.

Beyond that, Eric was a remarkable contributor to the field of SEO through conferences and events, through webinars, through his blog and his Twitter account, and through countless conversations with SEOs like me. In fact, Eric was one of the first people who helped me to understand how link strategy worked, and I have many, many fond memories of him.

I’d also like to say that Eric and I had a number of phone calls and emails over the years about mental and emotional health. I know that’s something that both of us have struggled with. I know that it’s something that many of us in the entrepreneurial and technology worlds struggle with, and it’s an issue that deserves more openness and more attention. I hope that we can do that and that I can do that here at Moz.

But, of course, this is Whiteboard Friday, and since we’re honoring Eric, what I want to help today with is talking about some of his link strategies that stand the test of time. These are high level concepts, which we often dig into the very weeds and the details here on Whiteboard Friday, but I think it pays to pull back a little and think about links from a big-picture perspective.

For those of you who are active link builders and link strategists, much of this might be familiar. But I bet for your clients, for your teams, for your bosses, for the people that you work with, this sort of strategic level thinking sometimes goes ignored, and it means that you don’t always get the credit that you should. So let’s take some of the lessons. These are just a tiny handful of the plethora of value that Eric has provided over the decades that he had been in our field.

1. People and organizations link because:

First off, Eric liked to talk about why people and organizations link, and I think there’s actually some excellent tactical and strategic thinking in here.

A. Content is deserving of their recognition

First off, he talked about how the content that they would link to is actually deserving of their recognition, which I think makes intuitive sense, but is something that is often not considered in a link building list. When we create our lists, we sometimes ignore that.

B. They have a non-financial incentive to link

Which makes sense. If you’re trying to get someone to link, they need to have a reason, an emotional reason, a business-driven reason, a partnership-driven reason. If it’s financial, of course, the search engines will penalize it or eventually penalize it.

C. The right person made them aware that the citation should exist

This was the form of work that Eric concentrated on particularly early in his career, when he was a very tactical link strategist, and I think it makes great sense, but is so often ignored, that we don’t find the right people in our organizations to make that connection, that we don’t actually make the organizations that should link to us aware of why a link should happen and where it should exist, and that this work, while very manual, is also very powerful. It can drive direct traffic, and of course it drive rankings in search engines.

D.The content actually matters to their audience

That whoever you’re reaching out to, this reason, this incentive needs to connect with their audience. Otherwise, Google is unlikely to count that link, and visitors are unlikely to click on that link. I actually think personally that the two might be related, that there’s some form of browser level data, user and usage level data that Google is using here.

E. That content is new (or recently updated)

I found this fascinating that Eric pointed out that it is vastly easier, vastly easier to get content to earn links from its audience, from a target if it is new or recently updated. It’s much more challenging to do that with older content, which is one of the reasons why a lot of the strategies or a lot of the tactical elements that he proposed, when working with his clients, centered around: How are we going update, redo, or make something new that is going to cause all of these things to be true?
I think if you can check off these five, you have got a great set to be able to go out and pitch people on why those links should exist.

A quote from Eric: “Identify and contact venues that would be inclined to care about the new content enough to write about it and/or to link to it.” I think that really is PR. That’s public relations, just in a digital marketing capacity and really a huge part of what successful outreach looks like.

2. Great execution is a result of strategy and planning

Next up, great execution is a result of strategy and planning. I know. Who knew? What’s true in every other part of the business world and every other part of the world of things that get accomplished is also true in link building? Yes, it is.

A. Strategy flows from understanding your topic and online space

Eric liked to say that strategy flows from a deep understanding of the topic and the space, which is why a lot of these services that you might find online, that are very inexpensive or very scalable, don’t work very well in links, because they don’t have that deep topic and deep space understanding. When you have a deep understanding of the topic and the space, you can better target your link earning abilities.

B. A blueprint of how to earn links from various types of targets dramatically increases the odds of success.

So two interesting things in here. If you have a blueprint, that means you have a structure for how you’re going to target and how you’re going to outreach. If you consider various types of targets, and Eric mentions a number of these on his website. I’m planning to link to link to a bunch of resources in this Whiteboard Friday from Eric around this. If you choose those various types of targets, you will over time discover which ones are consistently high performing for you and have the best opportunity to earn you the links that will make a difference in your campaigns.

Eric would say what we do, and he’s using “we” here to refer to link strategists rather than just link builders, “What we do is to help content find the audience it was intended for and the audience find the content.” I love that. It has a beautiful simplicity to it, but also a deep strategy that unfortunately a lot of link building campaigns don’t pay attention to.

3. Short-term thinking leads to devaluation, penalties, and poor results

Eric was extremely passionate, if you ever spent time with him or listened to one of his webinars or interviews, he was very passionate about this idea that…

A. Links that would exist, even if Google and Bing did not, are almost always the ones that provide the most value. That’s both in traffic and in rankings.

Eric had this wonderful nomenclature. He was known as Link Moses, and Link Moses had these commandments about link building. He said, “The link schemer may eat today, but the link earner eateth from a bountiful table for a lifetime.” I think that’s a beautiful sentiment.

Folks, if Eric has provided you with value, and I can assure you that if you are in the link world, almost all of us, who have anything worthwhile to share, have earned our ideas from people who have learned from Eric or from Eric himself. His family is grieving, and it would be wonderful if we could help show them support. Geraldine and I, my wife and I have done so, and I’d encourage you to do so as well.

Danny Sullivan, who’s now with Google, but of course who was behind Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Strategies and then Third Door Media, has set up a donation page that will go directly to his family at bit.ly/ericward2017. I think it would be wonderful if the Moz community and all of us who have benefitted so much from Eric’s help over the years paid him that respect.
Thanks very much.

Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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How to Stand Out in a World of Dull Podcasts

black and white cityscape

Think about this for a moment. Your favorite podcasts.

This American Life.

WTF with Marc Maron.

Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income.

Every single one of them started at the bottom. Every single one of them started in obscurity. Every single one of them started without an audience.

It’s hard to believe. Over 25 years ago, at age 19, Ira Glass was an intern at NPR, and a terrible writer. It took him, he confesses, eight years to learn how to effectively structure a story. Now he hosts a show with nearly two million weekly listeners.

Marc Maron was a late-30-something comedian, twice divorced, holding the record for most guest spots on Late Night with Conan O’Brien as his only claim to fame when he started his podcast — a somewhat desperate gig considering the fact he’d just been fired from his job.

He now regularly boasts the number one podcast in comedy on iTunes.

As a “Job Captain” at an architecture firm in Southern California, Pat Flynn loved his job and enjoyed life. Until he got laid off. That event, devastating for sure, turned out to benefit Flynn.

He decided to work for himself and launched a podcast, which has become a top-ranked business podcast on iTunes featured in the New York Times.

Three people. Three podcasts. Three success stories. All from normal people like you.

Life before podcasts

In the past, when we were young, restless, and abrupt, we all started with a blog, perhaps one that was free. Or we bit the bullet and bought a paid version, something like Typepad.

Every day we dutifully published a post — sounding off on the circus called politics, or sharing our everyday traumas, or teaching others a new skill.

Blogs were a boon for both the shy and the verbose. Then, around 2004, along came the podcast. Now we could use audio to share our opinions, dramas, and skills.

Former MTV host Adam Curry, smitten by the new technology, doubled down on podcasts. In fact, he launched iPodder.org, a platform that allowed you to easily subscribe to shows.

But alas, the idea was before its time and quietly boiled away in the background. Seems even with an app like iPodder.org, downloading episodes was still a clunky process.

We weren’t ready for podcasts until smartphones — with the ability to stream or download on the spot — saturated the market.

Introducing the rebirth of podcasts

Once the technology caught up with the concept, podcasts took off again. So much so that audio is now a foundational content format that provides you with the opportunity to tap into large distribution networks like iTunes and Stitcher.

See, if you only write on a blog, you are invisible to the audiences on these other networks.

But if you start a podcast, you become visible to these large networks, and you can also enhance your podcast’s visibility by publishing the transcript online. And why not do this when audio is relatively cheap to create. How cheap?

Jerod Morris and I produce The Lede podcast with a couple of decent microphones through Skype or Google Hangouts. Jerod edits with GarageBand, a free app from Apple. We then publish to iTunes and Stitcher. The cost is in our time and a small fee for the transcript. Everything else is free.

The one thing your podcast must have

Perhaps you’ve reached a stage in your life where you are ready to do something for yourself. You have a story to tell. A business idea you want to cultivate. Opinions about music that must be heard.

If you don’t have an audience, consider building one with a podcast. Your finished audio product will give you text to publish on a blog, too. (Just keep in mind that once you churn out the transcript, it’s best to polish it up for readability, since transcripts often aren’t publication quality, or even proofread.)

The beauty of this approach is that you create two pieces of content that honor two different learning styles — in half the time. Anyone who can speak can do this. But there is one thing your podcast must have: structure.

Rambling is a no-no. There are only a few people in the world who can go off script and keep a podcast interesting. And while it may seem they are off script, the truth is they just prepared intensely for the podcast.

Howard Stern, for example, can get away with it because in reality he doesn’t ramble. His experience and preparation carry the interviews right along. The same goes for world-class interviewers like Katie Couric, Jim Lehrer, and Dick Cavett.

Preparation is everything when you create media. It not only serves your audience, who does not want to listen to a rambling mess (no matter how authentic you think it is), preparation also serves you.

Giving your podcast structure and order makes it easier to convert into other formats. As Brain Clark said:

Many, many people are able to create fantastic content and create audiences and end up with content that can be repurposed into other formats by doing audio interviews.

But it can be tough to get the right people on your show, especially when you’re just starting out.

How to get superstars on your show

Most people in your industry with even a smidgen of reputation will be happy to jump on an interview. Doing an interview for a podcast is the equivalent to the academic world of logrolling: “I’ll give you a nice blurb about your book if you do that for me.”

It’s the trading of favors. The interviewee gets exposed to a new audience (the interviewer’s) while the interviewer gets exposed to a new audience, too. More than likely, the interviewee will share the finished product with her social media crowd.

Money is never discussed; money is never exchanged.

But when you go up the food chain, the game changes. Industry leaders have floods of requests from analysts, reporters, and podcasters. Everyone wants a piece of their time. But no one seems to have a budget.

Giving our time freely for interviews is an odd phenomenon in an economy where it is assumed we trade time for money. If you want something from me — my time, my experience, my results — you will have to pay me for that.

No one bats an eye at this expectation (unless you charge outlandish fees). As we all like to say, “I have a family to feed.”

This is important when you start a podcast. While interviewing industry players can help you build a body of work, it probably won’t lead to any breakthrough. In fact, it often leads to a humdrum echo chamber.

Your breakthrough won’t occur until you snag that talk with an unreachable industry authority. Then people will pay attention. And, more than likely, pay money for the content.

A classic example of the value of great content

Let me give you an example of why this actually makes a lot of sense.


Two guys who paid $ 100,000 for the rights to Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich, before it landed in the public domain, started Guthy-Renker – a powerhouse direct response company and pioneer of ethical infomercials with $ 2 billion a year in sales.

You are probably saying to yourself, “That’s a classic book. Everyone has read it. They probably drained their life savings for that. What a stupid gamble.”

Truth is, not everyone has read it. There was still a huge, thirsty market for Hill’s ideas. With those rights in hand, Guthy and Renker created an infomercial starring Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton.

They made $ 10 million off that one commercial.

Clearly, it was a smart move and money well spent. Given that, paying an expert a reasonable hourly fee to provide you with content seems like a smart move, too — one way to distinguish yourself from the ordinary crowd of podcasts.

Here’s the magic of this approach

Once you have great content and the rights to use it as your intellectual property, which is what Guthy-Renker did, you could:

  • Give it away as an asset pillar.
  • Put that content behind a paywall as part of a content library.
  • Use the transcripts to create an ebook you can sell.
  • Send interviews monthly as part of a private members email newsletter.
  • Create a video tutorial.
  • Design an infographic around the ideas discussed in the podcast.

And so on.

Your turn

The hard part is getting people on your show if you don’t have an audience. But once you have an audience, people will ask you if they can be on your show.

How do you prompt the catalyst? What do you have to do to hit that breakthrough — to crack the top 10 on iTunes in your category?

Paying a few rock stars to appear on your podcast might just do the trick.

The lesson of this article is that paying for great content is worth it down the road.

That’s because as long as you obtain the rights to your audio, which can be accomplished with a very simple release guests should sign if you pay them, then you can use (and monetize) the content however you choose.

That’s a smart strategy in a world full of ordinary podcasts.

Whom would you like to have as a guest on your podcast?

How would his or her expertise serve your audience?

If you don’t currently have a podcast, what’s stopping you from starting one?

Share your thoughts over in the discussion on Google+ …

And if you would like to learn more about this approach to podcasting, check out our New Rainmaker course — a two-week training opportunity that will teach you how to create the type of media your customers will love.

Click here to register for the free course.

About the author

Demian Farnworth

Demian Farnworth is Copyblogger Media’s Chief Copywriter. Follow him on Twitter or Google+.

The post How to Stand Out in a World of Dull Podcasts appeared first on Copyblogger.


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