Critique of the Field and Stream Photo Gallery

Photo galleries are hugely popular with hunters

The Field & Stream Photo Gallery appears to be a huge success with their readers. Their site has been gaining traffic and readers over the past year at great rates. It’s wonderful to see a quality publication have such success with their online initiatives.

I’ve been a reader of Field & Stream for quite some time. I’ve learned much from their annual articles about whitetail deer hunting and still look forward to their expert reviews on the latest in hunting gear.

One of the reasons for the success of the Field & Stream Website I have to believe is their photo gallery. I subscribe to the Field & Stream Newsletter and it seems they are always including remarkable photographs from the outdoors. These photos are often reader-submitted, which is great.

Field & Stream is involving their readers in their publication and it bodes well for their future growth. I’m excited to see how they continue to evolve as a business with online focus while continuing to offer the best in outdoor-related content.

There are however a few critiques I have about their Website and some suggestions for ways they could expand even more…

Technical SEO

Taking a quick glance through the extensive Field & Stream Photo Gallery I can find a few things they could adjust with relatively little effort that will yield some positive results.

A quick rank check for the general term ‘hunting photos’ reveals that Field & Stream ranks about #25 on Google. This is not acceptable since F&S has one of (if not the) best hunting photo galleries on the Web. And to top off those results, F&S is ranking for with their Hunting page rather than their Hunting Photos page.

The first thing F&S can do is to utilize a strong URL for their hunting photos. Something like http://fieldandstream.com/hunting-photos would be perfect rather than the current http://www.fieldandstream.com/photos/editorial/1 . I would then redirect the current Hunting Photos page to the new one to keep any incoming links.

Click for sharper image

Next I would utilize proper title tags for the Hunting Photos page. I would use something like ‘Hunting Photos and User Submitted Hunting Photos Galleries’ or something similar that best fits F&S’s goals for their photo galleries.

F&S does utilize title tags on their hunting pageHunting: Hunting Blogs, Hunting Photos, Hunting Tips, and Hunting Articles from Field & Stream’. That is a lot of great content. To avoid cannibalism I would remove ‘Hunting Photos’ from this title tag so the hunting photos page is optimized and the search engines aren’t confused.

Click for sharper image

There are a few other things Field & Stream can do technically, but these are good changes to start.

Click for sharper image

Photo Gallery Design

It appears Field & Stream has had great success with their Slide Show Style photo gallery design.

Field & Stream organizes their photos (professional and user-submitted) into individual galleries that are setup like slide shows. For example, Field & Stream’s 50 Best Reader Bucks of 2009. Each time you click ‘next’ above the photos you’ll be taken to a new page. That’s a new page view for each photo, which means big traffic numbers for F&S.

The gallery as it’s currently setup is great for building page views and each page/photo has a new description to the right, which is great for the readers as they will want to learn about each new photo.

It would be a change for my own personal preference, but I would change the slide show format to a design that more resembles a blog post with photos and descriptions taking up fewer pages. This design would lead to potential issues with page load time and decreased page views, but the advantages would include the ability to see more than one photo at once.

It’s mostly a personal preference, but there are also technical advantages. Currently, each page in a photo gallery has the same title tag, which diminishes the value of the tag.

Field & Stream has certainly had success with their photo gallery in slide show format so there is no need to make drastic changes. The traffic and page views are there and users can certainly link to individual posts which will lead to link juice.

There are a few things that could be cleaned up though as I’ve mentioned to make the user experience more enjoyable while taking advantage of some SEO.

‘Best of’ Lists

My absolute favorite part about Field & Stream’s photo gallery is their use of ‘Best of’ lists.

Example: 25 Best Big Game Reader Photos of 2009

Web users love lists and they love looking through lists of remarkable photos. F&S takes the interaction up a notch by including reader photos in their showcases. It’s a great way to get readers more involved in the site.

F&S steps up the interaction by including leader boards for top users, ranked photos and ranked comments, and related photos.

I would continue doing posts like these while also listing the Most Viewed galleries along with Trending or Favorite galleries on the main photos page.

Build on the success of the ‘Best of’ lists and create even more lists that Web visitors love.

Photo Gallery Commenting

Getting back to the issue of the slide show style design for the photo galleries – the commenting on the slide shows is awkward.

Users can comment on the galleries as a whole, but it appears they cannot comment on individual photos. Users will highlight photos in their comments (Ex: What is up with photo #3?) because they don’t have the ability or can’t figure out how to comment on the particular photo they finding noteworthy.

It would be beneficial to user experience and SEO to allow users to comment on individual posts.

One Last Word: Duplicate Content

I just noticed that there is an Additional Info section on most galleries – right side of the page when you view galleries.

It looks like the information in this area does not change from page to page when clicking ‘next’ to view each photo.

This is a search engine no-no as search engines are always struggling with duplicate content. They want to know the page that the content is meant for and sites can be deducted ranking as a result of too much duplicate content.

Example: Moose in Canoe and Elk Hunt 2009 both have the same content in the Additional Info section.

Summary

Field & Stream has one of, if not the, best outdoor and hunting-related photo gallery on the Web today.

The increase in traffic in the past year is proof that the great folks at the outdoor publication are doing great things with their Website. They’re writing content that people love to read and they’re adding photos that people love to view and comment on.

With a few adjustments to the structure of the photo gallery I think Field & Stream could see increased results. They can improve their user experience with a few technical changes, which will lead to more incoming links while also adjusting a few things that will increase search engine traffic.

I look forward to see the Field & Stream Photo Gallery evolve and grow as outdoor enthusiasts continue interacting with the site.

PS – It looks like image title and tagging could be improved too. The exciting part is that there is huge potential for Field & Stream to improve their immense collection of photos.

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Image courtesy of vauvau

The Story of the Giant Moose

Sometimes unexpected keywords result in big traffic

Today I decided to draft an interesting case study that may prove valuable for you and hopefully for your blog and business.

What makes it valuable?

SEO and keyword research are important for bloggers to understand. Recognizing search traffic trends in your site’s statistics can help you hone in your writing to attract more visitors and potentially customers to your site.

Let’s take a look…

Ben G. Outdoors

I approached Ben Gustafson (@BenGOutdoors) early in 2010 to discuss working on a few marketing strategies for growing his blog and site: Ben G. Outdoors.

For Ben G. Outdoors, Ben writes about his experiences in the outdoors doing various activities including hunting. He puts a great personal spin on his writing (he and his wife recently welcomed a new baby boy to the family). Ben also writes reviews for hunting products and does interviews with leaders in the hunting industry.

Ben was excited about the opportunity to take a deeper look at his marketing strategy. We discussed a few things to focus on in the initial research and one of the objectives we wanted to focus on was keyword trends and opportunities.

Unique Keyword Strategy

After digging into some of the keywords that were bringing traffic to Ben G. Outdoors, I noticed something interesting.

Ben’s post, Giant Moose, was ranking #1 in Google for the term ‘Giant Moose’.

Now, this high ranking didn’t surprise me. Ben had used the keyword in the title and the post was, while not long in content, had numerous comments and seemed to be a popular one for Ben’s readers.

At first I thought this was just an example of a blog ranking well for a long-tail keyword phrase, but after doing some deeper research I realized that the term ‘Giant Moose’ receives about 4,400 broad searches each month and 1,900 exact searches each month (Google Keyword Tool).

Please click on the images to see enlarged…

Ben G. Outdoors is receiving some good traffic each month from a post that generated some quality discussion and interaction with his readers. Potential readers that first visit Ben’s site via a search for ‘Giant Moose’ have good reason to be impressed with the discussion and if they’re interested in hunting and the outdoors it’s likely they’ll visit again or look through the archives for further relevant reading.

Opportunity for Future Posts

Ben, being the smart guy he is, realized the potential to write more posts using ‘Giant Moose’ as inspiration.

Recently, a post on a Huge Black Bear story hit the front page of Ben G. Outdoors.

This post had more content and insight from Ben in the body of the post. Comments soon flowed in just as they had with ‘Giant Moose’. Ben’s readers seem to love discussing the strange and unique stories from the hunting world.

Along with the great conversation, the great thing about ‘Huge Black Bear’ is the fact that it’s already ranking on page 1 of Google. Depending on your personalized search, Ben may rank anywhere from 3-10 or so for the term.

The term ‘Huge Black Bear’ gets about 400 broad searches each month on Google, which isn’t substantial, but it is likely the post will generate some relevant traffic to Ben’s site over the long-term.

Summary

By working together, Ben and I were able to find some great insight into what is already proving to be a valuable source of traffic for his site.

I’m sure Ben will continue to craft posts using the ‘Giant Moose’ formula and I think he’ll have great success as he has already had with ‘Huge Black Bear’.

Ben also plans to continue to write interviews, reviews and other types of posts for his blog since those are popular with readers as well.

Your Input on Keywords

What about you?

Have you had keyword success with your blog?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

SEO Reading

And for more great reading on SEO Strategy, please read: Optimize a Single Post On Your Blog for SEO

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Image courtesy of junmon603

You Are Surrounded by Blogging Ideas

And you didn’t even know it

Sometimes when you’re looking for ideas to blog about you can search and search and seemingly nothing with come to you.

If you’re a business owner you may get the feeling that you’re hitting on the same topics over and over again. It’s possible that your readers are looking for a different perspective to change things up on the themes you cover with your blog.

There is good news for you, blog writer!

You have a wealth of insight and knowledge available at your fingertips. And the best part is that these resources are likely to be anxious to contribute and help.

You just have to ask…

Employees and Co-workers

When it comes to writing blog content that your audience finds engaging, you likely have some great resources in the employees and co-workers working right beside you in your office.

Stop by the office of your merchandiser and ask them about upcoming trends this season. Ask them for their thoughts and insight into what is happening in the industry.

Use their information in your posts and give them full credit.

Offer to write the content for them so they don’t have to feel obligated to sit down and feel pressured to churn out great content. Ask them for their thoughts on various topics you think your audience will find interesting and take notes. Then gather the best thoughts and put them in a blog post.

If you have other guides and hunters on your staff then ask them about their top five tips for the upcoming season. Ask them if they are going to try any new techniques this season.

Find the interesting things that you and your readers are curious about.

Ask your secretary for advice on topics. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions. People will often surprise you with their unique perspective on life. You’ll probably learn something and that extra knowledge will translate into some killer blog content.

Ask your employees and co-workers for their insight. You’ll gain killer blog content and probably learn and grow closer to those you work with daily.

Family

Most people go to their family for advice on happenings in life.

If we’re looking for advice on love, loved lost, how to shoot a free throw, how to purchase a house, or what to do when the baby starts crying, parents are likely the first place most go to find answers.

It’s no different when it comes to blogging.

Your parents can offer sound insight into the questions you have about certain topics you blog about. Perhaps you need a different perspective on what’s happening with the Department of Natural Resources – your mom or dad may have the perspective that can connect with another part of your audience – one that you can’t reach simply because of your unique outlook on life.

Also look to your siblings and kids for insight. Every one of us grows up in different worlds and each of us has a different perspective on reality. The more you can use several perspectives to form a consistent stream of communication the better you’ll be able to bring in lots of people to see things as you see them.

And don’t forget about significant others.

They usually (99.9% of the time) have the correct perspective and will often knock some sense into your argument.

Friends

When I need an honest perspective on something I’m having trouble writing about I’ll often ask one of my close friends.

I have a small group of friends that I trust to give me honest feedback no matter what the subject. I don’t have to worry about either of us getting angry for a response because it’s expected that we’re all adults and can take any criticism or feedback that comes.

Sometimes it’s good to be told that you’re an idiot.

And on a good side of friendship, you can ask your friends for their insight into topics you’re writing about. Find friends that have careers in different or similar fields and ask for their take on the topic. You will probably find some interesting perspective you can use in your next post. And some of your readers will probably relate to what your friends are discussing.

Clients and Business Partners

Clients are often a great perspective for blogs.

It’s very beneficial to write about the relationships you have with your clients – good and bad. You can have your clients write their own posts, you can write case studies revolving around your clients and you can ask clients for their perspectives on certain industries.

If you have a client that specializes in a certain area of hunting, ask them for their insight on certain topics as it pertains to topics you’re interested in writing about for your site.

The more you can engage your existing clients, the more your future clients will want to do business with you.

People want engagement. Give it to them.

Summary

Do a little searching around your world and you’d be surprised at the knowledge you’ll find right in front of you.

The people you see and interact with every day are full of great ideas and insight. Give them a chance to share it with you by asking for their opinions on topics. It’ll make for great blogging content and you’ll probably form some great and more meaningful relationships as a result.

Have you ever sought out insight for the topics you blog about with your co-workers, family or from others in your life?

Please share in the comments.

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Image courtesy of jurvetson

State of the Hunting Industry Report | February 2010

[private_member]MEMBERS – Please view in .pdf form – State of the Hunting Industry Report | February 2010 [/private_member]

Edition 4           A Publication of Hunting Business Marketing        February 2010

Now is the Time to Prepare for the Fall 2010 Hunting Season

Introduction

Image courtesy of Alex E. Proimos

With a mixture of positive and negative economic news coming out daily there is volatility and uneasiness amongst businesses and consumers in the US.

The stock market is up from its lows of over a year ago, but there is still uncertainty of whether the increase is due to actual economic productivity or the result of stimulus in the market from the US Government going back to 2007 when the presidential administration and Congress sent checks out to everybody.

An entire industry in the housing sector was blown up artificially by low interest rates in the early 2000s and once the artificial demand lost its stimulus there was a crash back to reality. Since then there has been even more intervention in the markets with attempts at artificial demand and the anticipation of more exhausted demands has consumers and businesses on edge when it comes to confidence in the future.

And while there is volatility in the markets and in the confidence of consumers, there is still real demand for real products and services – both needed and wanted.

And this is where the opportunity for growth is for aspiring businesses.

[private_member]

Americans are worried about their jobs (if they still have jobs they are satisfied with) and this has had an effect on discretionary spending for the past two or so years. And while there has been a retraction in spending, that doesn’t mean that demand for wanted and needed items does not exist.

Demand for items is infinite and companies that can find ways to fill consumer demand despite the discretionary spending retraction will be able to find areas in the hunting industry that are prime for growth and expansion.

Whether it’s extending credit to consumers when they are struggling to make the purchases they have become accustomed to or if it’s finding products to sell that may be a step down in quality and cost, but still fill an emotional need, businesses that are able to connect with the new consumer pains and frustrations will be able to grow and succeed no matter what the economic outlook is.

Opportunity exists and it’s there for you to take.

Economic Trends

Watchdog: Bailouts created more risk in system

From Associate Press (Jan 2010):

The government’s response to the financial meltdown has made it more likely the United States will face a deeper crisis in the future, an independent watchdog at the Treasury Department warned.

The problems that led to the last crisis have not yet been addressed, and in some cases have grown worse, says Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the trouble asset relief program, or TARP. The quarterly report to Congress was released Sunday.

“Even if TARP saved our financial system from driving off a cliff back in 2008, absent meaningful reform, we are still driving on the same winding mountain road, but this time in a faster car,” Barofsky wrote.

Since Congress passed $700 billion financial bailout, the remaining institutions considered “too big to fail” have grown larger and failed to restrain the lavish pay for their executives, Barofsky wrote. He said the banks still have an incentive to take on risk because they know the government will save them rather than bring down the financial system.

Read the entire article Watchdog: Bailouts created more risk in system

Impact on your business

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a problem caused by over extended spending and extended credit couldn’t be fixed with more extended spending and extended credit.

When the deflationary cycle of consumer and business contraction took hold in 2007-2008, the US Government stepped in and attempted to create demand by handing out borrowed money. It’s an effective tactic in the short-term, but has negative long-term consequences as the end result is simply a worse crash than what would have originally occurred.

It’s a difficult economic climate for any business owner to succeed in, but those who are determined to look for opportunity despite the political influence in the market are the ones who succeed.

When I take a step back and look at the successful business owners that I’ve come in contact with they are often void of strong political affiliation as they simply use their time worrying about that which they control rather than wasting energy on worrying about what may happen in the political happenings.

So while it’s important for research, planning, and strategizing, political and economic happenings are out of the control of businesses and the ultimate focus needs to be on understanding what’s happening in the economy and crafting strategies to succeed in spite of those happenings.

Americans Leery of Too Much Gov’t Regulation of Business

From Gallup (Feb 2010):

At a time when the debate over the optimal role of government involvement in regulating business is a prominent policy debate, new Gallup polling shows that 57% of Americans are worried that there will be too much government regulation of business, while 37% worry that there will not be enough. Half of Americans believe the government should become less involved in regulating and controlling business, with 24% saying the government should become more involved and 23% saying things are about right.

While the American public may favor some of these initiatives [of the US Administration] on an individual basis, the current results underscore the degree to which the average American in a general sense is concerned about too much government involvement in business.

Read the entire article Americans Leery of Too Much Gov’t Regulation of Business

Impact on your business

There is uneasiness among Americans when it comes to Government intervention in business and economic markets.

Consumers and business owners are unsure of how intervention will affect their personal situations, but most Americans appear to be of the feeling that intervention in the economy and the markets will have a negative long-term impact on the economy as a whole.

Understand the uneasiness and remember that’s happenings are ultimately out of your control and there are still growth opportunities despite any political agenda.

Americans Agree: Quality Jobs Remain Hard to Find

From Gallup (Jan 2010):

As the Obama administration and Congress shift their focus to the economy and jobs after the State of the Union, Gallup polling suggests they need to consider quality as well as quantity. One in 10 Americans (9%) believe now is a “good time” to find a “quality job” — a situation that has persisted over the past year, and a huge deterioration in job-market conditions from January 2007, when nearly half of Americans (48%) expressed optimism about finding a quality job.

While Americans disagree about many things — and rarely reflect an overwhelming consensus about anything concerning the economy — their views about the lack of quality jobs are a clear exception; the total lack of optimism about the prospects of finding a quality job in January 2010 is consistent across ages, incomes, genders, and regions of the country.

Read the entire article Americans Agree: Quality Jobs Remain Hard to Find

Impact on your business

Unemployment and underemployment remains one of the most important issues facing consumers and business owners in the United States today.

Official unemployment is at around 10% while underemployment is hovering around 17-18%. Still others in the economy feel they are working harder and longer today for less pay. This group of individuals obviously has a mindset that is retrenched in contraction mode while others that have quality jobs still remain uneasy about their ability to have stability in the near future.

It makes for difficult marketing, but as mentioned before – demand is infinite and consumers still demand that which they need and want. Businesses able to find ways to foster demand whether it’s through credit, lowering of standards or creative marketing will find success in today’s economy.

Gallup Economic Weekly: Self-Reported Spending Declines

From Gallup (Jan 2010):

As the Dow Jones average plunged more than 400 points last week, consumers pulled back, with self-reported spending falling 24% from the prior week and 27% from the same week a year ago. This breaks the positive early January trend that saw spending running slightly higher than last year’s comparables. At the same time, economic confidence was about the same as the prior week and Gallup’s Job Creation Index showed that hiring remained essentially unchanged.

Impact on your business

The uneasy feeling amongst consumers stems from the volatility and the questionability in the current economy. Consumers are simply questioning the viability of any sustainable growth in the economy and whether they should be able to count on future stability that could lead them to make more discretionary purchases in the short-term.

As consumer spending continues to fall or flatten over the long-term, it will be difficult for businesses to maintain their current models.

Business models will have to change and it will become essential for businesses to find ways to tap into consumers’ demand despite the new variety of barriers that exist.

Industry News

Hunting License Sales Up By 3.5 Percent in NSSF Index of States

From National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc. (Feb 2010):

In a year when one word, “fewer,” described life in America — fewer jobs, fewer home sales, fewer purchases — hunters were responsible for generating a welcome “more” category, as hunting license sales rose by 3.5 percent in 2009 in states that make up NSSF’s Hunting License Sales Index.

The 12-state index comprises several states from four main regions of the United States. Nine of those states recorded hunting license sales increases from January through December of 2009 over the previous year, according to Southwick Associates, a research firm that monitored the license sales information.

“Many factors such as weather and the economy affect hunting license sales in any given year, but in 2009 the economy likely had a more significant effect,” said Jim Curcuruto, NSSF’s director of industry research and analysis. “While the reasons for the 3.5 percent increase are speculative, past research shows that during slowdowns in the nation’s economy it is possible that people have more time to hunt and that hunters take the opportunity to fill their freezers with nutritious, high-protein meat acquired at lower cost than if a similar amount was purchased at the supermarket.”

States participating in the NSSF License Sales Index are New York and New Jersey in the Northeast; Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana and Tennessee in the Southeast; Minnesota, Indiana, Kansas and Texas in the Midwest; and Oregon and Utah in the West. States were selected for their ability to provide license sales data on a regular basis. The geographical selections were made to offset potential variation in license sales by region. As more states are able to provide necessary data, the number of states will be increased, said Curcuruto.

Read the entire article Hunting License Sales Up By 3.5 Percent in NSSF Index of States

Impact on your business

It was a disappointing hunting season in my home state of Wisconsin so it made me happy to read this report from the NSSF.

It’s good to see that there is some growth or flattening in the hunting industry. Hunters continue to want and need the best hunting equipment and the best land access in order to fulfill their demand for the best hunting experiences and the biggest trophies.

This demand will never cease to exist. New barriers may form like uncertainty, instability, and tightening financial situations, but this simply changes the business model for hunting businesses.

Find ways to break the barriers that exist for your customers and you’ll find success.

Online Trends

What Can SEO-Savvy Blogs Do For You?

From Fathom SEO (Feb 2010):

To blog or not to blog – if that is your question, then reading this post should help you find the answer.

Creating a blog for your company is an excellent way to implement SEO strategy. Many people do not realize the important connections between successful, regularly-updated blogs and SEO rankings. TopRank Blogging recently published a survey covering the “Impact of Blogging on Search Engine Optimization.” Of the 326 participants, 87.4% “successfully increased measurable SEO objectives as a direct result of blogging” and 94% “reported seeing measurable SEO benefits from blogging within 12 months.”

Of course, all statistics need to be taken with a grain of salt, but the overall impression you get from this data is that blogging positively impacts SEO functions. The bigger question worth asking is: Why does this happen?

Those who have spent time in the industry and seen the tangible results provided by SEO-friendly blogs can attest that these information creations serve several important functions. Blogging can

Read the entire article What Can SEO-Savvy Blogs Do For You?

Impact on your business

Connecting is an important step for businesses today.

Success will come for businesses that are able to break the barriers that now exist in their customer’s life. Blogging is a great way for businesses that put together a blogging strategy that works to fill a trust void or to break down a barrier in the customer’s life.

Look for the frustrations in your customer’s life and answer those frustrations with a blog.

Conclusions

It’s a difficult economy environment for businesses and consumers today.

Uneasiness and uncertainty exist throughout the demographic spectrum and things don’t appear to be changing as far as confidence and outlook go.

Businesses will find success by finding the new barriers that exist for their customer’s and finding ways for their customer to get past the new barriers. This could be extending credit to someone who may not have the means to make purchase or it may be by connecting with customers via a blog and building a trust that makes customers feel good about making a purchase today that will benefit them.

Copyright Notice

This publication is NOT copyrighted by Hunting Business Marketing. All contents are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States. Please share the contents of this report via any channel you prefer with any hunting businesses owners you know who would benefit from receiving a copy. Please provide attribution to Hunting Business Marketing.

Thank you for your support!

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Email: dayneshuda@gmail.com
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DISCLAIMER: The information, tools and material presented herein are provided for informational purposes only and are not to be used or considered as an offer or a solicitation to sell or an offer or solicitation to buy or subscribe for securities, investment products or other financial instruments, nor to constitute any advice or recommendation with respect to such securities, investment products or other financial instruments. This research report is prepared for general circulation. It does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and the particular needs of any specific person who may receive this report. You should independently evaluate particular business decisions before making any moves or changes in relation to any content mentioned in this report.[/private_member]

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Hunting Business Marketing

How Will Your Customers Discover You?

The underserved rarely speak up – they usually just leave

Guitar

Today I was driving in my pickup when a Taylor Swift song came on. I hit my preset button to change to another local country station and another Taylor Swift song came on. I hit one more preset, this time for local pop station, and yet another Taylor Swift song came on. I finally had to turn on the CD I had in the player (Diamond Rio – 16 Biggest Hits).

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift

Now, I happen to respect Taylor Swift as a singer and songwriter. As a marketer, I can appreciate the work she puts into not only creating songs that her audience loves, but also the work she puts into marketing her brand so that she can grow a large audience.

However, as a young male, I can’t particularly relate to the topics Taylor Swift sings about. Nor do I relate to the melodies she writes.

Who is serving me today in country music?

Uninterested Customers Change the Channel

Your customers are out in the world right now not even realizing that you exist.

When people are listening to the radio and they consistently hear music they simply don’t like they will just change the channel.  People won’t complain or make a fuss. They simply change the channel in an effort to find something that satisfies their desires to feel emotions – to connect with singers, lyrics, and melodies.

Just as people change the channel on the radio, your potential customers are searching for the right way to connect with a business such as yours so they can answer their questions and have their problems solved. They may not even know that they’re looking. We don’t give much thought to what we’re doing when we change the channel. Often we look for certain stations that have played some quality music in the past, but we rely on the disc jockeys to bring us new music that will satisfy us.

Who are the disc jockeys that can take your story to your customers?

Marketing is the art of connecting your business with the customers who don’t even realize that you exist. All great markets have a knack for finding target customers, but there is also an area of marketing that requires the art of discovery.

Discovery

Some of the biggest jockeys in charge of spreading the word about quality businesses on the Web are bloggers.

Bloggers are a business’s most valuable resource for spreading the word on the Web. Bloggers have audiences that rely on them to bring quality information and perspective consistently. Over time, bloggers build their loyal audience and look for sources of consistent information and content to provide that audience.

Businesses that come forward with fresh perspective that adds value to a blogger’s audience is an extremely valuable resource.

It’s important for businesses to seek out the influential bloggers in their niches as well as in niches where they may not expect to find their target customer.

Many businesses today are discovered in blog posts as bloggers review products and services and give trusted information to their audiences. People read blogs to learn and to be entertained, but most importantly, people read blogs as a way to discover something that satisfies their needs – needs they may have not even known they needed satisfied.

Bloggers are like disc jockeys in a way because they are trusted by their audience to bring new and exciting content that satisfies needs. Bloggers are important for businesses and customers alike.

Find the bloggers that are influential both in your niche and in related niches and allow them to tell your story. Give them all the resources they need to effectively allow their audience to discover and connect with your business.

Summary

The other day I heard a song on the radio that caught my ear.

I was on my way to work, riding in my pickup when a smooth country song with a sweet, rolling melody came across the radio waves. I’m a Little More Country Than That was the name of the song and it instantly made me wonder who the singer was.

I found out that the song was by Easton Corbin. He’s a newcomer in the country music world. He has smoothness in his delivery that I haven’t heard since George Strait (one of my all time favorite singers).

Without the discovery nature of radio today I may have never heard I’m a Little More Country Than That.

Easton Corbin
Easton Corbin

Marketing is about making connections with others in the world. The goal of any business is to take its products and services to those who need or want them. It can be difficult to find your customers and while targeting continues to improve, discovery will always play a huge role in the nature of connecting business with customer.

I don’t fit Taylor Swift’s target audience, but because the radio station played a variety of good country music along with hers I was able to discover Easton Corbin.

It can be difficult to find people that want and need your products and services. Take your story to the voices in the industry and allow them to take your story to those who can discover you and become your customers.

Easton Corbin – I’m a Little More Country Than That


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Image courtesy of Wouter de Bruijin

The Top Marketing Posts of 2009

Some of the best marketers in the world wrote valuable content in 2009

Cougar

You may have noticed that in each post on HBM I link to a few posts from around the Web that I find relevant and (hopefully) interesting. It’s my little effort to share some quality content from around the Web. All of the articles are worthwhile and while your time is limited, it’s definitely worth it to read some of the most compelling articles as they relate to your business.

With the end of 2009 here, I thought I’d go through the HBM Archives and complete the top 50 marketing posts.

Enjoy.

1| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Be a Disrupter

Appeared with HBM Post: Disrupt the Hunting Industry

2| SEOmoz

Website: SEOmoz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 10 Tips for When Startup Life Gives You Lemons…

Appeared with HBM Post: If You Want to Be Creative, Why Do You Structure Your Life?

3| Copyblogger

Website: Copyblogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 5 Steps to Going Viral on Twitter

Appeared with HBM Post: The First 4 Days of Your New Hunting Blog

4| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Social Media, Web 2.0 And Internet Stats

Appeared with HBM Post: 4 Lessons Learned from the Movie Catch Me If You Can

5| Dosh Dosh

Website: Dosh Dosh

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Everyone Uses the Internet for a Reason

Appeared with HBM Post: Why Hunters Use the Web

6| Seth Godin’s Blog

Website: Seth Godin’s Blog

Top 2009 Marketing Post: How to Send a Personal Email

Appeared with HBM Post: Give Away Your Hunting Knowledge for Free

7| Problogger

Website: Problogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 5 Ways Blogging Can Make a Difference for You in This Economy

Appeared with HBM Post: Give Away Your Hunting Knowledge for Free

8| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: A Creative Commons License Is The Ultimate Music Promotion Tool

Appeared with HBM Post: Give Away Your Hunting Knowledge for Free

9| Twitip

Website: Twitip

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Think Like a Toddler to Find Your Voice on Twitter

Appeared with HBM Post: Think like a Buck in Rut and Find your Blogging Voice

10| Problogger

Website: Problogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: The Essential Guide to Growing Your Blog on Minimal Time

Appeared with HBM Post: 3 Viral Video Ideas

11| SAMBA

Website: SAMBA

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Hamster Burial Kits & 998 Other Business Ideas

Appeared with HBM Post: 40 Quick Tips and Ideas for Growing Your Hunting Business

12| Chris Brogan

Website: Chris Brogan

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Cafe Shaped Business – The Roger Smith Hotel

Appeared with HBM Post: 10 Things Every Hunting Website Needs (Plus a Few Extra Ideas)

13| Damn! I Wish I’d Thought of That!

Website: Damn! I Wish I’d Thought of That!

Top 2009 Marketing Post: You already have a word of mouth topic

Appeared with HBM Post: 10 Things Every Hunting Website Needs (Plus a Few Extra Ideas)

14| Zen Habits

Website: Zen Habits

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Bad Habits Slap Us Down, but a Theme Encourages

Appeared with HBM Post:

15| Manage Your Life

Website: Manage Your Life

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 9 quick ways on how to manage work stress

Appeared with HBM Post: Staying Power – Why Some Businesses Have It and Some Don’t

16| SEO Book

Website: SEO Book

Top 2009 Marketing Post: True Internet Marketing Icons / How Online Marketing Works

Appeared with HBM Post: Take Note of What Every other Hunting Business is Doing – Then Do the Opposite

17| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 77 Insights From More Than A Decade On The Web, Daily

Appeared with HBM Post: Web Users Take the Path of Least Resistance – Just like Deer

18| Seth Godin’s Blog

Website: Seth Godin’s Blog

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Solving a Different Problem

Appeared with HBM Post: Web Users Take the Path of Least Resistance – Just like Deer

19| The Way We Watch

Website: The Way We Watch

Top 2009 Marketing Post: What Do People Remember After the Video Ends?

Appeared with HBM Post: 50 Viral Videos (and how they spread)

20| The Business of Blogging and New Media

Website: The Business of Blogging and New Media

Top 2009 Marketing Post: How to Release Your Web Marketing Potential

Appeared with HBM Post: The Impact of Online Video in the Hunting World

21| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 10 Secrets for Creating Viral Content

Appeared with HBM Post: The Impact of Online Video in the Hunting World

22| Copyblogger

Website: Copyblogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Persuasive Online Video Strategies That Prompt Action

Appeared with HBM Post: The Impact of Online Video in the Hunting World

23| Chris Brogan

Website: Chris Brogan

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Social Media Needs to Become a Team Sport

Appeared with HBM Post: The Sports Agent Guide to Marketing

24| Specky Boy

Website: Specky Boy

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 50 Impressive Magazine and Newspaper Styled Web Designs

Appeared with HBM Post: 50 Best Hunting Website Designs

25| Noupe

Website: Noupe

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Web Design Trends: Testimonials Design

Appeared with HBM Post: 50 Best Hunting Website Designs

26| Six Revisions

Website: Six Revisions

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 16 WordPress Sites to Help You Build a Better Blog

Appeared with HBM Post: 50 Best Hunting Website Designs

27| Murray Newlands

Website: Murray Newlands

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 10 Elements of a Successful Twitter Landing Page

Appeared with HBM Post: The Top 10 Twitter Landing Pages

28| Problogger

Website: Problogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Getting Over the Blogger’s 6 Month Itch

Appeared with HBM Post: What Daylong Deer Hunting Taught Me About Blogging

29| The Way We Watch

Website: The Way We Watch

Top 2009 Marketing Post: What Do Chris Brogan and Michael Caine Have in Common?

Appeared with HBM Post: What do Chris Burget and Garth Brooks Have in Common?

30| Fathom SEO

Website: Fathom SEO

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Google Analytics Benchmarking: Turn it on!

Appeared with HBM Post: Use Bounce Back Offers to Get New and Old Business

31| Online Marketing Blog

Website: Online Marketing Blog

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 7 Considerations for Tracking Social Media Success

Appeared with HBM Post: 10 Remarkable Hunting Business Blogs

32| Outdoor Media Resources

Website: Outdoor Media Resources

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Appeared with HBM Post: 10 Remarkable Hunting Business Blogs

33| Conversion Rate Experts

Website: Conversion Rate Experts

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Conversion Killers – Does Your Site Contain Any “Nuke Buttons”?

Appeared with HBM Post: 25 Tips for Web Conversion

34| Chris Brogan

Website: Chris Brogan

Top 2009 Marketing Post: How Does This Share

Appeared with HBM Post: 25 Tips for Web Conversion

35| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 19 Reasons You Should Blog and Not Just Tweet

Appeared with HBM Post: 25 Tips for Web Conversion

36| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Shutterstock Gets Social – Digital PR Case Study

Appeared with HBM Post: Sponsorship Case Study – Team Huntress

37| Copyblogger

Website: Copyblogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Beyond Headlines: How to Get Your Audience to Read Every Word

Appeared with HBM Post: Sponsorship Case Study – Team Huntress

38| Chris Brogan

Website: Chris Brogan

Top 2009 Marketing Post: The Beauty of Collaboration

Appeared with HBM Post: How to Choose a Hunting Business Directory

39| Daily Blogs Tips

Website: Daily Blog Tips

Top 2009 Marketing Post: How to Optimize Your Site for Local Search

Appeared with HBM Post: How to Choose a Hunting Business Directory

40| Online Marketing Blog

Website: Online Marketing Blog

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Influencing the Social Web: Agility is a Factor

Appeared with HBM Post: How Small Businesses Can Beat the Big Competition

41| Lateral Action

Website: Lateral Action

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 9 Ways People Respond To Your Content Online

Appeared with HBM Post: How Small Businesses Can Beat the Big Competition

42| Online Marketing Blog

Website: Online Marketing Blog

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Strategic Link Building for SEO

Appeared with HBM Post: How Small Businesses Can Beat the Big Competition

43| Copyblogger

Website: Copyblogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 5 Things Sesame Street Can Teach You About Breakthrough Blogging

Appeared with HBM Post: How to Find Your Lucky Break

44| SEO Book

Website: SEO Book

Top 2009 Marketing Post: The Search Taxonomy: Getting Inside the Mind of the Searcher

Appeared with HBM Post: 8 Little Details That Make Big Differences on Hunting Websites

45| Zen Habits

Website: Zen Habits

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Feng Shui On Steroids: Design Your Space to Achieve Your Goals

Appeared with HBM Post: 8 Little Details That Make Big Differences on Hunting Websites

46| The Fugure Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: No Niche is Ever Too Crowded for Fresh Thinking

Appeared with HBM Post: Befriend the Best Hunters and Businesspeople on the Web

47| Daily Blog Tips

Website: Daily Blog Tips

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 8 Tips for Aspiring entrepreneurs

Appeared with HBM Post: The John Mellencamp Guide to Success in the Hunting Industry

48| SEOmoz

Website: SEOmoz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: The Real Power of Twitter

Appeared with HBM Post: What is the Point of Twitter

49| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Clinging to the Past is Not a Strategy

Appeared with HBM Post: What is the Point of Twitter

50| Louis Gray

Website: Louis Gray

Top 2009 Marketing Post: It’s Not Too Late to Spring Into Reading 5 New Blogs

Appeared with HBM Post: Write Better Blog Headlines: Tonight at 6

What to read next on Hunting Business Marketing

The Top 50 Hunting Blog Posts of 2009

What to read next on the Web

The Top 50 SEO Posts of the Year – 2009 Edition

Image courtesy of jurvetson

The Top 50 Hunting Blog Posts of 2009

Did you read these posts in 2009?

Happy Puppy

In the spirit of giving this Christmas season, I thought it would be appropriate to share with you some links to hunting blog posts…

As 2009 ends, I thought I’d list the Top 50 Hunting Blog Posts from the past year. These posts were all successful in attracting readers and comments while adding value to the online hunting world.

Enjoy.

These are in no particular order

1| Bowhunting.com

Website: Bowhunting.com

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Huge Monster 192”: A Two Year Adventure

2| Bowhunting.com

Website: Bowhunting.com

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Fixed Blade vs. Mechanical Broadheads – The Great Debate

3| Bowhunting.com

Website: Bowhunting.com

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Bowhunting Success in Illinois – The Creek Buck

4| Whitetail 365

Website: Whitetail 365

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Whitetail Are Tougher Than You Think

5| Whitetail 365

Website: Whitetail 365

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Portable No-Trespassing Signs?

6| FS Huntress

Website: Field Notes

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Hunters Who Happen to Be Women

7| FS Huntress

Website: FS Huntress

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Q&A, Angela Wilson, Taxidermist

8| Field Notes

Website: Field Notes

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Environmentalists on Hunters

9| Outdoors International

Website: Outdoors International

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Building Trail, Fishing & Wolves

10| Base Camp Legends

Website: Base Camp Legends

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Idaho Archery Bull

11| Cabela’s – Outdoor Info

Website: Cabelas – Outdoor Info

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Hunting Techniques – Stand Hunting

12| Team Huntress

Website: Team Huntress

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Stick to Your Guns

13| A Blessed Crazy Life

Website: A Blessed Crazy Life

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: A Boy’s First Deer

14| Ben G. Outdoors

Website: Ben G. Outdoors

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Trout Fishing Part 5 (Final)

15| Desert Rat

Website: Desert Rat

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Desert Rat Talks With Laura Francese

16| Doubletough Outdoors

Website: Doubletough Outdoors

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Got Hunts? Bet Your Boar He Does

17| Grow the Hunt

Website: Grow the Hunt

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Making Summer Successful

18| Muskoka Outdoors

Website: Muskoka Outdoors

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Coyote Closely

19| NorCal Cazadora

Website: NorCal Cazadora

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Woot! I got my first woodie today!

20| Native Hunt Blog

Website: Native Hunt Blog

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: The Trophy at the Table – More Than a Mount

21| The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Website: The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Instincts and Hunting

22| Outdoors With Othmar Vohringer

Website: Outdoors With Othmar Vohringer

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: The Pink Wave

23| Outdoor Freaks

Website: Outdoor Freaks

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: A Summer on the Porch

24| Wild Ed’s Texas Outdoors

Website: Wild Ed’s Texas Outdoors

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: European Skull Mounts the Texas Way

25| Wildlife Callers

Website: Wildlife Callers

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Scouting + Calling = Wildlife Photography Results

26| Michael Waddell

Website: Michael Waddell

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Sounds, Smells, and Feelings That Make Me Feel Great

27| David Blanton

Website: David Blanton

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: A Crazy Turkey Hunt

28| High Country Archer

Website: High Country Archer

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Stacey Scores

29| The Hunter’s Wife

Website: The Hunter’s Wife

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Chris Brogan’s Failed Attempt at Bowhunting

30| The Hunter’s Wife

Website: The Hunter’s Wife

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: My 6 Point Whitetail Deer

31| Whitetail Woods

Website: Whitetail Woods

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: A Muzzleloading hunt to Remember

32| Hunting Life

Website: Hunting Life

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Is High Fence Hunting Offensive?

33| Hunting Life

Website: Hunting Life

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Another Tactic for the Rut, Hunt the Does

34| Wired to Hunt

Website: Wired to Hunt

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: How to Become a Hunting Guide

35| Wired to Hunt

Website: Wired to Hunt

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Jumping the String

36| Deer Hunting Big Bucks

Website: Deer Hunting Big Bucks

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Scent Control, Wind Direction, and Better Deer Hunting

37| Deer Hunting Big Bucks

Website: Deer Hunting Big Bucks

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Deer Hunting With Dogs

38| Winded Bowhunter

Website: Winded Bowhunter

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Turkey Rappers

39| Live Hunt

Website: Live Hunt

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Bull Down!

40| Jake’s Outdoors

Website: Jake’s Outdoors

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Starting Them Young…

41| Hunting With Mike

Website: Hunting With Mike

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Nature and Little Girls

42| Moose Droppings

Website: Moose Droppings

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Tundra Swan Hunt in Washington County

43| My Hunting Buddies

Website: My Hunting Buddies

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: HEVI*SHOT® Product Review

44| Deer Passion

Website: Deer Passion

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: What Do You Dislike About the Outdoors

45| Long Ridge Deer Camp

Website: Long Ridge Deer Camp

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Almost Muzzle Loading Season, and How NOT to Book an Out of State Hunt…

46| Simply Outdoors

Website: Simply Outdoors

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Hunting Can Be a Cure

47| The Maine Outdoorsman

Website: The Maine Outdoorsman Blog

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Mr. President’s NEW Waders

48| The Deer Tree

Website: The Deer Tree

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: My 2009 Gear Wish List

49| LowCountry Hunting

Website: LowCountry Hunting

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Lowcountry Rut Cranks Up

50| Rob’s Hunting Journal

Website: Rob’s Hunting Journal

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: First Day of Fall Pheasant Wreath

Please feel free to share your top posts in the comments.

What to read next on Hunting Business Marketing

Hunting Blog Post Title Ideas Part 1

Reviews of Remarkable Hunting Blog Posts

The Top Hunting Blogs Part 2

What to read next on the Web

The Top 50 SEO Posts of the Year – 2009 Edition

10 Reasons Your Small Business Should Have a Blog

45 Blog Post Ideas That Always Generate Buzz

Image courtesy of Emery_Way

The Sports Agent Guide to Marketing

“The key to this business is – personal relationships.” ~ Jerry Maguire

Sports Agent

We’ve all probably seen the movie Jerry Maguire. We know the scene where Jerry is trying to convince his client, Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr. in his Oscar winning role), that he should stay with Jerry as his professional agent and representative.

It’s the classic and endlessly quotable Show Me the Money scene:

Rod is looking out for the best interest of his family. He feels he’s sacrificed his body and his livelihood for the team he plays for and he wants to be fairly compensated. Jerry, who found out that he’s being fired due to a recent conscious moment about his profession, is trying to save his own livelihood by retaining some of his professional sports clients.

The phone call lasts for a few minutes and Jerry loses all of his clients, but he retains Rod. This is a key moment in the movie because from this moment forward, Jerry is entirely focused on doing what it takes to please his client and to make things right for both parties.

He creates a win-win situation for both himself and his client, Rod Tidwell. He accomplishes this by highlighting the successes of his client.

Let’s take a look at how sports agents highlight the successes of their clients to find their own success while attempting to create situations where all parties (including fans and management) can feel like winners…

Everybody wants to feel the love

Sports players are often portrayed as divas or self-serving as they sometimes seek to get the most money out of their situation as possible. But in reality, aren’t we all trying to do the same? It may not always be about the money – it could be about security, availability or anything that makes us feel good in life.

Our lives are all short and we all want to feel the love. We want to feel loved by our family, our friends, our professional peers and ourselves. We all look to surround ourselves with people who will serve our best interests. Generally we seek to surround ourselves with people who make us feel good and complement our lives in a way that drives us to our ultimate goal of happiness.

When it comes to business, your clients are looking to surround themselves with someone who will make them feel the love. Your customers want to feel like somebody else cares about their well-being. They don’t even care if you are doing exactly the same. They actually want to see that you’re driven to find success and happiness in your own life. This would be proof that you’re aware of the keys to happiness.

Show your customers the love.

If you sell advertising space on your blog or Website, give your customers extra exposure by talking about the success of a particular ad in a blog post. Talk about how great they are to work with in a tweet.

Feed your customers’ ego.

If your outfitting customer shoots a trophy, be sure to submit the trophy photos to the major hunting photo sharing sites. Be sure to highlight their trophy on Twitter. Be sure to add their photo to a major spot on your site.

Show your customers the love by highlighting their success.

By highlighting the success of you customers, you’ll help them find their happiness in life and help yourself find your own profit and happiness as well.

It’s not about you

Two examples of sports agents (I’m sure there are more) that understand that their business is not about them are Drew Rosenhaus and Jack Bechta.

If you follow @RosenhausSports and @jackbechta on Twitter you’ll realize that these two businessman love highlighting their clients. They love telling the world about the successes of their clients.

Drew Rosenhaus Twitter

Jack Bechta Twitter

These agents could focus on their business and themselves with tweets about how they got their clients big contracts, but instead they congratulate their clients for the work the client did to get a contract or a playing honor.

Professional sports athletes have their best interest at heart when they play the sports they love. They realize that their team’s success is their success. They also are fighting for security in their own lives. They want to be as successful as they can be. They look to surround themselves with people who believe them and who will help them achieve greatness.

When sports agents show that they put their client’s first it proves to other current and potential clients that the agent is willing to do all that it takes to make the player successful.

What are you doing to show your customers that you understand that it’s not about you?

A way to highlight the success of your customers is to write a blog post about a successful project or a successful hunt. You could write about the success a client had while using your product. Say for example that you make tree stands. Ask your customers to share their stories of success. Then write a post about that success. You don’t even have to say that your tree stand was used. Simply highlight the customer. Other customers will see where your focus is and be drawn to you.

It’s not about you.

Summary

Sports agents sometimes get a bad rap. Fans often see all of the drama that surrounds professional sports, but from circus acts that go on throughout sports seasons there is something to be learned about the relationships between a sports agent their client.

Successful sports agents realize that everybody wants to feel the love. People want to know that those around them support their dreams. We all want to know that someone else cares about our success and our happiness. It feels good to be recognized for our achievements.

Customers of all businesses look for partners that understand it isn’t about the business at all. Customers are smart enough to choose to work with businesses that not only work at all costs to achieve strategic long-term goals, but choose to highlight the client’s achievements. Because in the end they are the client’s achievements, not the business’s.

Bonus

Here are a few extra clips from Jerry Maguire.

Enjoy.

What to read next on Hunting Business Marketing

The Sports Bottom Line Ticker Strategy

Successful People Guide to Success Series

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Tweet Your Way to Press Row

Image courtesy of Dplanet::

What Daylong Deer Hunting Taught Me About Blogging

It’s not easy to sit in a tree for 10 hours waiting for a deer to walk by

Oris Pocket Watch

I’ve always enjoyed spending time out in the woods, in my tree stand, with a Thermos full of extra black coffee, waiting for that trophy buck to walk past.

Recently I was out in the woods on a crisp, chilly, brisk Wisconsin autumn morning and about halfway through the day I got to thinking about blogging (there is a lot of time to sit and think out in the deer woods).

A day in the woods waiting for deer to walk by is a lot like the process of starting a blog.

Let me explain in more detail…

Initial Burst of Excitement

Hunting

Usually when I get to my tree stand (about 20 to 30 minutes before sunrise – shooting time is typically about 10 minutes before sunrise) I find that the first 45 minutes to an hour of sunlight is the best time to see deer during any hunt.

I like to hunt in travel funnels so in the morning the deer are typically moving from their evening and nighttime feeding areas and heading back to their daytime bedding areas. They typically do this right around sunrise when the temperature is cool and the daylight still low.

There is often much excitement in the deer woods in the early morning. It’s fun and thrilling and I’ve harvested most of my deer during this time.

Blogging

Starting a blog follows much the same trend of an all day deer hunt.

When you start a blog for your personal passions or for your business passions you will likely become excited during the initial days and weeks of the blog as people discover your writing, leave comments, and even share your posts on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

When you first start a blog you’re also usually excited about the new undertaking and you’re telling anybody that will listen about your new blog. You’re being more active in the various communities on the Web and you’re getting people interested.

It feels great to be a blogger who has just launched a blog.

Midmorning Lull

Hunting

After the early morning rush of deer there is usually a drop off from about 9am to noon.

Things quiet down in the woods as the deer are finding their daytime bedding areas. They stick close to their beds as they chew on their cud and rest for the morning. There is never much movement during this time.

I have seen deer during this time of course. They’re usually running, being chased, or possibly looking for some acorns very close to their daytime bedding area.

This is usually the time during my daylong hunts that I take out a good marketing book and take some time to read.

Blogging

After the initial excitement of starting a blog wears off (and it typically does) there is a lull in activity – both from you and your initial readers.

The drive and excitement from you tends to wear out as your initial rush of ideas for blog posts wanes. The traffic of curious visitors can wear off as curious hunters continue searching the Web for new blogs to frequent. It’s difficult to get loyal readers especially in the first few days and weeks of blogging.

There is typically a lull period of blogging that takes place. Don’t let it discourage you. Take this time to look back on what was successful with your blog initially and work to implement new posts and activities to build on the success. The lull is a great time to study your blog and expand on your initial successes.

Midday Uptick in Activity

Hunting

Four seasons ago I spent the entire opening day and second day of the Wisconsin deer gun season in my stand. I typically like to spend the entire day in the woods, but sometimes it’s difficult to stay out from noon to 3pm as my beloved Packers are usually playing.

Well in 2005 the Packers were on their way to a less than stellar 4-12 campaign so I knew I wouldn’t miss much if I stayed in my stand during the midday.

At about 1:30pm a nice 11 point buck walked up the logging road to my stand and I was able to harvest him. It’s been the nicest buck of my hunting career. (The Packers are struggling again this season and they play at noon next week so we’ll see how things shake out).

Deer sometimes like to move around midday. It’s nothing like the morning or evening, but there is some movement – typically by bucks. I’m not exactly sure why, but I hear stories of hunters taking deer as they walk to their trucks for lunch.

Midday is not a burst of excitement, but it’s a good time to hunker down and wait patiently.

Blogging

After you start your blog and you get past the initial excitement of launch and you make it through the lull that follows there is a time when you’ll start to see your traffic begin to increase – usually at a slow, but steady rate.

This uptick in activity on your blog usually happens because you’re starting to establish your blogging voice. During your blog’s lull you took the time to analyze a few of the trends on your blog and now you’re focusing on writing the types of posts that connect with your target audience. You’re starting to build a group of loyal readers who look forward to your posts on a regular basis and when presented with the opportunity they share the news about your blog with others.

This is a slow building period for bloggers, but it’s usually enough to keep you driven as your traffic and impact continue building.

Evening Rush

Hunting

About an hour or two before sunset there is another exciting rush of deer activity in the woods. Deer will now make their way from their daytime bedding areas to their evening and nighttime feeding areas. They’re beginning to get hungry and they’re well rested from their daylong sit.

The does will make their way to the feeding areas and if the rut is in full swing the bucks will be crossing their travel routes hoping to find Miss Right.

It’s a fun time to be in the woods as there is lots of exciting activity. And this activity seems to continue right up until it’s too dark to see your own hand in front of your face.

Blogging

As your blog slowly builds a following over the initial few months and even years you’ll start to see an increase in the number of followers and visitors. As more and more people discover and spread the word about your blog you’ll begin to see exponentially increasing numbers.

It’s a fun time to be a blogger as you seem to hit your own critical mass. This is what all bloggers dream about when they start their blogs.

However, most bloggers don’t make it to this point because they get frustrated with the time it takes to reach this point.

Conclusion

Just as with hunting all day – most hunters don’t make it through an all day hunt and as a result can miss out on opportunities.

Put in the time and effort to make it all the way through your blogging cycle.

It’ll pay off over time.

What are your stories of success in the blogging world?

What stage of blogging are you in?

What to read next on Hunting Business Marketing

20 Steps to Starting Your Blog

Aggregate Your Archives

How to Write a Blog Post

What to read next on the Web

Getting Over the Blogger’s 6 Month Itch

The Flashing Christmas Light Technique for Writing Irresistible Bullet Points

Thoughts on the Influencer Audience

Are We Addicted to Giving Our Own Opinions?

image credit: wwarby

The Songwriter Guide to Starting and Finishing a Blog Post

I’m in a hurry and don’t know why

Songwriting Guitar

Do ever listen to the opening and ending lyrics in your favorite songs?

If you pay attention to more than a few of your favorites you’ll notice that they begin and end with the same lyrics. It’s an effect songwriters, musicians, and singers use to add more depth to a song. It’s also a technique that takes the most important part of the song – the hook – and puts it at the beginning of the song to capture attention while also putting it at the end to leave a lasting mark on listeners so they’ll listen again.

This technique is used by songwriters and by blog writers alike.

The best blog writers, like the best songwriters, often hit their listener or reader with a bang by telling them the most important part of the story right away, then telling them the details, and then hitting them again with the most important part of the story again at the end.

Successful bloggers use this technique to drive home the story they’re trying to tell or to drive home the point they’re trying to make to their readers.

It’s a proven technique you can use in your writing as a way to connect with your readers while creating quality content.

I’m going to make this a short post because…

I’m in a hurry and don’t know why

Bonus

3 country songs that start and finish with the same lyrical hook…

Im In A Hurry (And Dont Know Why) – Alabama

She Wouldnt Be Gone (Album Version) – Blake Shelton

I Can Still Make Cheyenne – George Strait

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image credit: lanuiop