Blog post inspiration – Google Insights

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It’s that time of year to start writing about seasonal things such as costume ideas, thanksgiving recipes and even Christmas ideas for 2012. But let’s be honest, sometimes it is just tough to start writing anything…even if the post ideas are obvious. Many times I find myself getting out of a slump by simply writing something totally different than what I was planning.

Back when I was writing celebrity gossip articles for gather.com, I found my inspiration through google zeitgeist. Things have changed since then, so now I like to get my inspiration from google trends, also known as google Insights. Upon visiting the site you can click the hot searches links to see what the latest buzz is today. Today’s inspiration happens to be the following:

  • Yankees
  • the steelers
  • Columbus Day

Go figure that a popular search would be Columbus Day on a day that happens to be Columbus Day. Well there you go, perfect writing inspiration fodder. I mean, come on, how many time have you hears somebody say “Columbus didn’t discover America!” Here’s your chance to write something somebody would actually read.

Hopefully after this little exercise, your brain will be inspired to get back on track to writing something about what the coolest costume ideas for 2012 are, with of course your affiliate link embedded in the post!

Mobile Website Navigation

mobile-website-navigation The question always comes up when building websites for mobile applications…what will the mobile website navigation look like?  Before you even design your mobile navigation, it is important to look at the web enabled devices to target. 

Building the best mobile website navigation will involve the traditional ideas of architecture, design, browser capabilities and so on.  For my next post I will give a little more direction on how to build your mobile website navigation.

What are Tag Clouds?

funny-pictures-cloud-cat This may seem like an easily answered question to many of you in the bloggosphere, but many others are not familiar with the concept of tag clouds.  I thought it would be a good idea to give some of you quick explanation of the concept of tag clouds.

So what are tag clouds and why are they important? I want you to look at it this way:

Every bit of content added to a site, be it videos, images, blog posts, articles, can be "Tagged" with keywords. Take this for example.   I upload a photo to my "wall."  There will be a field called Description which allows me to enter the description of the photo. 

For example: I upload a picture of a red rose.  I can type in the description: "This is a hybrid red rose grown in my science class."  Also on the screen would be a field called "Tags."  It is here that I can type in short keywords "classifying" this photo.

In this case my tags would be: flowers, science experiments, hybrid

Next, I can write a blog post.  This post will have some elements tied to it.  For example, a title field which is the title of the blog post, the story field; which is the whole blog post, and the Tag field, which I can type in short keywords classifying this blog post.

For example: I write a blog post titled "How Hybrid cars can save the world"  and the story would be something about hybrid cars and how they work and how they are good for the environment. Now and can add Tags to classify this blog post.   In this case I could tag the story with "hybrid, electricity, green, cars"

Here is an screenshot from my WordPress Add New Post screen…notice the Post Tags section to the right:

how to add tag clouds to wordpress

So now, with this added content, my tag cloud would display ALL of the tags  "flowers, science experiments, hybrid, electricity, green, cars." BUT since there are more tags for hybrid, the tag cloud would display all of the tags, but the tag Hybrid would display in a larger, bolder font.  The more content that is added and tagged with the keyword Hybrid, the bigger and darker the word Hybrid would get.

This gives visitors an indication of what is popular on the site…the bigger and bolder tags indicated the most popular content.  Here is the tag cloud from tonyrocks.com:

what is a tag cloud example

When you click on any of the tags in the tag cloud, you are presented with a list of all content associated with that tag (similar to a Google search engine result). My blog tag cloud says that Twitter and SEO are the most popular content items on my site.

cheap flights to islands – my new niche

cheap flights to islands Cheap flights to islands was an interesting term that I stumbled upon while looking for my next bum marketing experiment.  Travel pay per click terms in Google are quite expensive, so when I ran into this little gem i was amazed.  I was shocked to see that the general term for cheap flights to islands in the serps returns 14,300,000 results, but the specific term for “cheap flights to islands” only returns 8 results, but with a TON of sponsored links.

Now, according to Adwords, the term does not fetch a high bid, but still, a good niche to tap if you want to promote travel sites for cheap flights.  A few more cheap flight related terms that also peaked my interest:

  • Cheap flights to Jamaica – $1.67-  942,000 general, 11,500 specific
  • Cheap flights to LA – $1.92 – 18,200,000 general, 0 specific
  • Cheap flights to NY – $1.96 – 20,400,00 general, 2,950 specific

So go ahead and have some fun bum marketing with these cheap flights to variations.

Pittsburgh G20 – I’ll have the best view in town!

pittsburgh-g20-summit The Pittsburgh G20 summit is only 8 weeks away and I am still excited to see how things turn out.  I hope the weather in Pittsburgh improves by then…but still, I will be in the Brady Communications office watching from above.  We had an incredible view for both Pittsburgh Steelers parades.  I know the summit will be held at the convention center, which is quite a walk from us, but I’m sure there will be plenty of things happening at The Point as well.

President Obama actually invited the Netherlands to the Pittsburgh G20 summit. 

Obama says “"We think that the Netherlands not only is one of the world’s largest economies and most active internationally, but (the) prime minister has very specific expertise and experience in working with a whole range of world leaders."

I think Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende will be impressed at what Pittsburgh has to offer…I’m sure he’ll agree that selecting Pittsburgh as G20 summit host was a great idea.