Integrating Offline and Online Branding

Are there offline opportunities to explore when promoting your hunting business?

Jack Daniels Nascar

Image courtesy of pocketwiley

These days there is a lot of focus going towards branding and growing a business via online methods: PPC, Affiliates, SEO, Blogger Outreach, Social Channels (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), and many others. These methods all make great sense. The Internet has allowed people and business to connect and communicate in ways that have added value to relationships. Information is spread with little barrier. People are more connected and better educated. The Internet has been good for both business and consumer.

But are offline branding strategies being overlooked when it comes to marketing?

Offline Branding

Creating offline branding strategies can be a great way to enhance your online strategies or the offline branding you work towards can do fine on its own.

The world is moving toward a more connected, more online way of business. Smart business folks will want to stay on the cutting edge of information when it comes to new, online ways of connecting with customers and building trust.

However, there are still ways to connect and acquire customers offline that provide more return on investment than the current online methods.

An example of offline branding that reaches to a specific audience is the Native Hunt Racecar Sponsorship effort.

The Native Hunt Team is focusing on building awareness for their brand of outfitting while building business relationships that can lead to acquiring new customers while building trust to maintain their current customers. Native Hunt realizes that there is a significant portion of their target audience that is responding more to offline branding than to online. Native Hunt does a good job of integrating the two (their website URL on the car), but more on that below.

Some other examples of offline branding that may work for your business include:

  • Catalogs
  • Package Inserts
  • Postcards
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Fliers or other Printed Handouts

Industry Shows (These are still huge and great for connecting with customers and businesses)

Online Branding

The Web has allowed companies to do great things in their branding efforts with consumers.

Larger companies and companies focused on growth have ventured into many of the paid opportunities available on the Web. Services like Google AdWords offers targeted paid advertising that offers high return on investment. Companies looking for a variety of results (sales, branding, awareness, etc.) can find success with the paid branding opportunities available online.

Sponsorships, contest participation, and product reviews are just a few of the other ways companies have successfully taken advantage of the online branding opportunities. With the increase in available communication channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., there are an ever increasing number of resources available for increasing branding online.

Integrating Offline and Online Branding

When it comes to branding, companies often separate online and offline activities. This is usually a mistake since there is more benefit and return to be had by those that plan and integrate all branding initiatives.

Back to the Native Hunt example mentioned above. Native Hunt used their resources to sponsor a racecar. This was a great way to share the branding message of Native Hunt: Guided Hunts & Wildlife Tours. However, Native Hunt didn’t stop at simply including their logo and brand message. Native Hunt included their Website URL. This is an often used method for businesses that have more information and chances for engagement on their Website to increase the awareness of the Website.

Being seen more frequently today are TV ads for Twitter and Facebook pages. Large and small companies are going to where their customers are and building networks of followers. With these followers, companies are increasing the value of the connection and increasing sales. Companies are understanding that to penetrate an existing audience like the one on Facebook, they need to increase their clout on their Facebook page by gaining followers and then work to move those followers off the site to purchase (perhaps in the future customers will be able to purchase right on Facebook).

Integrating isn’t just for large companies.

Companies of all sizes can integrate their branding activities to increase awareness of communication channels. You can even integrate offline efforts with other offline efforts (postcard and catalog) and online with online (Facebook with Email).

If you have fans on Facebook, try to capture their attention for an email newsletter. Perhaps the email newsletter is a better driver for sales at your business. Most folks are apt to use email and once you have a fan captured on Facebook you want to continue adding value to their lives via your Facebook page while working to convert that fan to a customer via your channels that convert well.


Integrating is an important part of a successful company.

Find where you customers are spending their time, work to capture their attention on those channels by adding value, and then capture their attention via high converting channels. By increasing your clout across all communication channels – offline and online – you can increase the brand awareness for your company while increasing sales.

What are your thoughts on branding and integration?

Have you done anything of this sort with your company already? Please share in the comments.

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HBM Introduces Country Music Life

Introducing my latest venture: Country Music Life.


Image courtesy of keela84

With $75 and 2-months I was able to create a site around one of my passions: country music.

If you’ve been following Hunting Business Marketing for awhile now you’ve probably realized my passion for country music.

As a reminder, here are a few posts I’ve written that have included a country music twist:

Don’t Rock The Blog Title

What Do Hunting, Country Music, and Your Hunting Blog have in Common?

10 Inspiring Country Music Videos for Hunting Businesses

Lessons From Crazy Heart

10 Country Song Lyrics to Inspire Your Hunting Business

Staying Power – Why Some Businesses (Like Classic Country Songs) Have It and Some Don’t

The Best Country Songs You’ve Never Heard – A Lesson in Marketing

The Merle Haggard Guide to Everlasting Success

The George Jones Successful Career Guide

The George Strait Guide to a Lifelong, Fulfilling, and Successful Career

Red Light! Something Different, Second Chances and Persistence

Albert of The Rasch Chronicles correctly noted my music passion as he mentioned that I must be an audiophile.

Well, after some thinking and encouragement from those close to me I decided to start experimenting with a country music site.

Country Music Life

Country Music Life

Country Music Life provides the products country music fans need to live a quality life.

My vision for CML is to write about the news and happenings in country music and relate it to the everyday lives of country music fans.

The categories you’ll notice on CML are:

1) Music

2) Shoes & Clothes

3) Home Décor

4) Electronics

These are the basic categories any country music fans needs in their lives – music being one of the most important.

To start, the individual category stores are setup through Amazon Associates. In the long run, if traffic grows and demand for sales grows, I’d look to move into drop shipping, fulfillment, and warehousing inventory to sell.

That’s an extremely long-term vision and lots can happen and change on the site in the meantime.


The strategy for CML is to build an audience of dedicated country music fans that are seeking quality content relating to their favorite passion: country music.

As a way to connect their lives with country music – the music and the artists – CML will provide the products necessary for a quality country music life.

The blog posts on the Country Music Life Blog will be either Latest News or Top Stories. The latest news posts will be short highlights of news from around the Web. Top stories will be in-depth articles covering various topics including new music, music reviews, lists, and artist exclusive stories.

This strategy is built on providing quality long-form content to please the most passionate country music fans while providing the latest news for fans seeking quick content throughout the day.


In the coming months, I’ll continue posting articles on CML while also looking for opportunities to guest post on complementary blogs.

Any traffic from search engines usually takes 3-6 months (probably closer to 6) to start for a brand new site.

A few of the terms I’ll be targeting include:

Country Music Life

Country Music

Jason Aldean (other artist names as well…)

Country Merchandise

Country Music Blog

Along with the blog posts, I’ve also setup a format for Country Artists pages. Take a look at the page for Jason Aldean. The page includes a short biography, music info (with links to Amazon), and a few of his most popular videos.


The design of the site is a work in progress.

To allow for ease of launch, I used the same free template I use for HBM and made a few slight modifications to the CSS and PHP.

The logo was made courtesy of the wonderful Sarah of Sarah Lynn Design.

I’m still working on adding an introductory image to the home page while cleaning up a few other things, but for the most part I’m happy with where CML is at right now.


It’s been two weeks and $75 since I decided to start Country Music Life.

I’ve been working hard to get some content created to make the site presentable and I’m excited to share it with you.

Note: The $75 was for domain and hosting expenses.

I’ll continue to write about the progress of CML as it pertains to the interests of you at HBM: Marketing, SEO, Blogging, etc.

I hope you take the chance to visit the new site and share it with your friends that enjoy country music.

It’s expected that CML will take time away from HBM, but my hope is to continue providing valuable content on HBM while providing marketing consulting as well.

Take care and thanks for continuing to support HBM. J

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10 Awesome Hunting Blog Designs

Design is important for success.

I’ll often write about design and inspiring images, art, and photography here at HBM and try to relate it to success in the hunting industry. I’m a big fan of interesting design that captures attention.

Looking at collections of photographs or Website designs helps to inspire new ideas and to continue to strive for improvement.

I think the visual aspect of hunting blogs is just as important as the content included on the site. Your readers not only want to take in the content, but they want what they’re looking at to be visually appealing as well. It’s an important part of Website development.

I won’t say that design is lacking in the outdoor blog world, but let’s just say that there is always room for improvement.

Here are 10 of my favorite hunting blog designs…

10) Wildlife Callers

Wildlife Callers Blog

Website: Wildlife Callers Blog

The subscribe call-outs are right at the top right to put importance on acquiring new names for the list. The text is black and the background is white. A great design for a store blog.

9) Hunting Life

Hunting Life Blog

Website: Hunting Life Blog

The page is simple in design and not busy. There isn’t much distraction from the content in each post. Images are used to enhance almost every post. I also love the rotating images at the top of the site.


Bowhunting Blog

Website: Bowhunting Blog

The entire site is one of my favorites. The stuff surrounding the blog content gets a little busy, but that doesn’t take away from the good use of red, black, and gray in the blog design. It’s easy to read and comprehend.

7) Bulls and Beavers

Bulls and Beavers

Website: Bulls and Beavers

I really like the big image that previews the headline story on Bulls and Beavers. Using images is a great way to encourage visitors to your home page to visit your individual blog posts.

6) Wired to Hunt

Wired to Hunt

Website: Wired to Hunt

A great use of white space on this site (which I love). The main focus is the content. The search is also visible and easy to use at the top right.

5) Native Hunt Blog

Native Hunt Blog

Website: Native Hunt Blog

The site has a wide format with an appealing, outdoor feeling look. The design matches the business site – Native Hunt. This is a great way to allow readers to visit the two sites seamlessly.

4) Whitetail 365

Whitetail 365

Website: Whitetail 365

A classic hunting and outdoor publication gets it right with the design of their site and blogs. I love the use of white space on this blog. The three-column layout highlights all of the important content above the fold while allowing the main blog content to take center stage.

3) Muskoka Outdoors

Muskoka Outdoors

Website: Muskoka Outdoors

I’ve always loved the design of this site. A nice, big picture promo area on the home page to highlight the top or most recent posts. The whitespace is great. It’s a clean and crisp site that is all about focusing on the ease of absorbing the content.

2) Michael Waddell’s Blog

Michael Waddell's Blog

Website: Michael Waddell’s Blog

This is a great contrasting color blog and site design. It seems like a lot of outdoor-related sites like to use dark and bold colors in some way. I prefer white space with some dark, gradient colors. Michael’s blog uses a black border/background, but utilizes whitespace effectively for the blog. It’s easy to read and comfortable for the eyes.

1) New Archery Products

New Archery Blog

Website: New Archery Blog

This is a favorite design of mine overall for hunting sites and the blog matches the site so I had to include it. It has a nice wide format. The font is read to read against the white background.

Blog Design

If your blog is need of a design tune-up, there is no better place to turn to than Sarah Lynn Design.

Sarah and her team will create a customized blog design to match your needs and the visual needs of your readers.

Website: Sarah Lynn Design and Sarah Lynn Design Portfolio

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Write Blog Posts for One Person

It can be difficult to focus on your exact target audience.

Yellow Flower

I advocate blogging to just about every person I encounter.

Please see:

The Hunting Offseason: The Best Time To Improve Your Business

4 Ways to Use a Blog to Improve Your Business

20 Steps to Starting Your Hunting Blog

The First 4 Days of Your Blog

There are many reasons blogs are a beneficial way to spend time for various people in various professions.

Business professionals can grow a following of folks that share interests in various products and services.

Community leaders and non-profits can grow a following of folks with similar demographics to foster understanding and tolerance.

Newly graduated college students can create a blog that demonstrates their worth vs. the other recent graduates as well as their worth against experienced workers. (This is vital in today’s employment environment).

The biggest reason, I feel, blogs are beneficial for most everyone is the ability to regular, relevant content to an audience. The nature of blogging fosters a following or community with specific interests. Blogging creates a type of list – a term used frequently in the direct mailing and email industry. And most professionals in those industries will tell you, “The money is in the list”.

After most folks realize the benefits of creating a blog, they begin writing content and experimenting with their posts to find out who their audience is. This is a great learning experience for most, but something that is difficult for bloggers both new and experienced is determining the single target audience member.

Single Target Audience Member

Often when I read blogs that are right on the cusp of breaking out with great traffic and attention, I’ll see posts that seem to target different audiences.

One post may cover how to use food plots to attract deer while the next may cover how to blog about deer.

It’s an easy mistake to make (I’ve done it) to blog about something not on topic with what you’re building your audience around. There will probably be some readers that want to read about how to blog about deer, but for the most part, in this example, the readers want to know how to hunt deer.

The key to successful blogging is determining the one person you’re writing your posts for.

With each post you write, think about your audience and get it down to one person. The person can be fictional, but I like using actual folks when I’m crafting a post. It seems to help with the words I use, the tone I use, and the way I cover a topic. It also helps me keep posting somewhat regularly, which is important for maintaining loyalty and repetitive visits from your core audience.

I stray sometimes for the sake of shaking things up – for my own sake to keep things fresh and for the sake of the readers. There is always the temptation to expand the audience and grow in scale, which is usually a good thing – having more readers. It’s a balancing act – writing quality, focused content while growing your audience as large as you can.

Multiple Target Audience Members

As I just mentioned, writing to multiple audiences can work for some bloggers if done correctly. And there is no, one way to do it correctly.

A situation where writing to a different audience may work:

Blog: Dave’s Hunting Blog – Deer hunting tips

Normal Post: How to Use Food Plots to Attract Deer

Multiple Audience Post: What Hunting Companies Are Doing Wrong

The multiple audience post will cover the things hunting companies are doing wrong in serving their customers: hunters. This post has the potential to both generate discussion amongst the hunters that agree with Dave and the companies that may stumble upon the blog post and realize there is an audience on the blog they can connect with while improving their service.


This post is mostly a reminder to me that my single target audience member for this blog is hunting bloggers. There are other folks that read this blog and that is wonderful, but for the most part, I try to write every post with a single person in mind as the audience: a dedicated blogger in the hunting industry. Sometimes I forget and you’ll see posts that are irrelevant to this person, but I try to stay on task.

What are your thoughts on writing for a single person?

Have you had success with a different strategy?

Please share your observations in the comments.

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Photo courtesy of aloshbennett

15+ Hunting Companies Connecting With Bloggers

Quality hunting companies have shown eagerness to connect with bloggers

The Sportsman Channel

After writing How to Connect with Bloggers, I realized that it might be valuable to list hunting companies I’ve come across that have shown a willingness to reach out and connect with bloggers for mutual benefit.

Although there are instances of great relationships amongst bloggers and hunting businesses, it still seems like there is a disconnect existing between the two sets of passionate folks.

As Ben of Ben G. Outdoors said in the comments, “I’m not sure why some [companies] don’t respond [to blogger outreach], but I feel they are missing free marketing.”

Ben is exactly right.

Hunting Companies Need to Reach Out and Respond

It’s amazing that some companies will ignore emails from bloggers that are eager to write about them and their company.

Who turns down free, positive press?

Some companies even pay top dollar for the kind of media write-ups bloggers actively engage in.

In my experience, there are a number of quality companies that are willing to connect and engage with bloggers. These companies aren’t looking at the connection as a one-way street either. They are willing to offer value to bloggers (in various forms).

Bloggers Need to Reach Out and Respond

Even the content and ideas a company can provide seems like something bloggers should be willing to accept. Access to companies and people in the hunting industry that are seen as authorities in the hunting world should get bloggers excited.

There is value in a relationship for both bloggers and hunting companies. With little effort on both sides there can be value served to the audiences of both parties and each can grow over time as they share content and media.

Let’s take a look at companies willing to connect with bloggers…

Hunting Companies


I like writing about They are a unique retailer in the way they acquire sales through trust and authority by blogging, creating video, and sharing other content. They have written to thank me in the past for blogging about them. Even a simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way.

The Sportsman Channel

Website: The Sportsman Channel

Michelle is a member of HBM and is actively seeking out interaction with bloggers.

Sportsmen of North America

Website: Sportsmen of North America

It’s been a little while, but I received an email from a staff member here and we tried to work out a connection.

Outdoors International

Website: Outdoors International

Cory is very active in the blogging community and other social sharing sites with outdoor folks.

Native Hunt

Website: Native Hunt

Michael has been active with commenting on my blog for awhile. He love the interaction and working with hunting bloggers.

Dry Creek Goose Camp

Website: Dry Creek Goose Camp

Rick is taking big advantage of commenting on blogs and connecting on Twitter.

New Archery Products

Website: New Archery Products

These guys have started a blog and are willing to link to reviews bloggers are doing with their products. It’s showing an open mind to partnerships.

Trophy Score

Website: Trophy Score

Review: Trophy Score Business Review

Chip (a blogger himself) reached out to me about his innovative scoring software.

TNT Outdoor Explosion

Website: TNT Outdoor Explosion

I saw that Todd Cast of TNT Outdoor Explosion did an interview – Interview with Todd Cast, host of TNT Outdoor Explosion – with Mark at Wired to Hunt. Interviews are a great way for bloggers and outdoor businesses to connect.

Heartland Bowhunter

Website: Heartland Bowhunter

More from Mark at Wired to Hunt. Interview with New Member of Heartland Bowhunter, Matt White and Introducing Our New Wired to Hunt Contributor Matt White.


Website: Stedi-Stock

Kevin at Hunting Life has a great series of interviews and podcasts. Here is The Hunting Life – Steadi-Stock.

Pheasant Phun

Website: Pheasant Phun

Dave is very involved with bloggers. He’s a great guy to know.

Team Huntress

Website: Team Huntress

Review: Sponsorship Case Study | Team Huntress

Jane is active on Twitter and always willing to share content with bloggers.

Wildlife Callers

Website: Wildlife Callers

Mark and Marc are building a great site and company by blogging and sharing content with bloggers. They also work on guest posting.


Website: Camofire

Review: Successful Hunting Business Highlight | Camofire

Kendall has a unique business and comments on lots of blogs including HBM. This business is great to write about due to its unique nature.

Companies added by readers

Dream Pursuit

Website: Dream Pursuit

Short Bio: A non-profit organization providing hunting and fishing adventures for children and young adults.

Africa Hunting

Website: African Hunting

Short Bio: Your source for all things hunting in Africa.

Ghillie Suit Source

Website: Ghillie Suit Source

Short Bio: The name says it all.

Fish Creek Spinners

Website: Fish Creek Spinners

Short Bio: Trout, salmon and other fish species lures and spinners.

Land and Game

Website: Land and Game

Short Bio: The best selection of market value property in the industry. Period.

Bear Archery

Website: Bear Archery

Short Bio: Hunting and Archery Products.

Warrior Outdoors

Website: Warrior Outdoors

Short Bio: In relentless pursuit of the moment of truth.

My Buck Story

Website: My Buck Story

Short Bio: Share your stories from the field.

Marauder Outdoors

Website: Marauder Outdoors

Short Bio: West Virginia Hunting Adventures

Camo Vision

Website: Camo Vision

Short Bio: Camo eye wear to keep you covered.

Magnet Gun Caddy

Website: Magnet Gun Caddy

Short Bio: Easy place to store your gun.

Speedy Sharp

Website: Speedy Sharp

Short Bio: Quick, universal knife sharpener.

Hunting Life

Website: Hunting Life

Short Bio: A great resource for hunters on the Web. Directories for bloggers and hunting companies. Also a source of the latest conservation news.

Share Hunting Companies

If you are aware of other companies that are willing to connect with bloggers, please share them in the comments and I’ll add them to the list.

If your company is willing to connect with bloggers, please share in the comments…and pay attention for the next post.

I’ll keep adding to the list as I come across more as well. 🙂

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Your business has content, bloggers need topics

A Rose in Hand

An interesting thought was brought up in the Hunting Business Marketing Forum about connecting with bloggers. I started responding to the question in the forum, but felt that the topic was big enough to promote to a full blog post on the main blog.

Connecting With Bloggers

In another forum post, Generating Buzz, Mark of Wired to Hunt discussed a job he had with a marketing agency where he would help to connect businesses and bloggers by using the content the business would create and organize so it was valuable to bloggers.

Mark discusses that he would create a list of bloggers that were active and willing to accept relevant information from companies. These bloggers were then prioritized by traffic, quality of content, interaction of readers in the comments, among other criteria. From there the organization would craft the content so the bloggers could then use it for their blog posts.

It’s important to note that Mark says that each blogger received a unique email that was personalized. The communication was honest and up front in goal.

I think connecting with bloggers really begins by becoming involved in the online communities where your targeted bloggers are spending time.

A reason Twitter has become popular is because it allowed folks to connect with people and businesses they looked up to and wanted to connect with. Businesses can seek out connections with prominent bloggers in their niches and bloggers can seek out businesses that may have potentially useful information that can lead to quality blog posts.

Starting Relationships With Bloggers

As mentioned above, starting the relationships can start with a simple direct message or email that is personalized. The communication can originate from the blogger or the business.

A common experience some have is that after a few messages back and forth the blogger and the business contact lose interest with each and the relationship dies. This may happen because the blogger and the business didn’t find any common ground for a relationship where they share content and work with each other to produce blog posts for their target audience. It could happen because there just wasn’t a relevant way to connect the goals of each party.

It’s important to remember that not all bloggers will take content and turn it into blog post gold. Early on in your efforts this will be even less likely. The truth is that it will take one or two bloggers here and there over time that consistently take content and share it with their audience. Slowly, over time others will join in and eventually a critical mass will be tuning in to your stream of communication to absorb the content you’re sharing about your company.

Maintaining Relationships With Bloggers

Since it was mentioned that business and blogger relationships are often lost or that one of the parties loses interest over time I thought I’d brainstorm a few ideas to keep the conversation active as the life of the relationship ages.

Here are a few I can think off the top of my head:

  • Newsletter
  • Email Thread
  • Forum
  • Google Spreadsheet
  • HARO (Help A Reporter Out) for Hunting – HAHBO (Help a Hunting Blogger Out)

All of these are ways to keep the conversation active with your friends and followers. Not all of the bloggers you form relationships with will become actively involved with your brand by picking up your stories, but a few will become dedicated and over time those dedicated few will grow an audience around the content you’re sharing on the communication channel you’ve created for them.

The reality of interacting with bloggers is that you (the business) will have to take most of the initiative to continue the relationship where your provide ideas for blog posts to bloggers. Some will take the content and run with it and create amazing, unique content while others will ignore it. Some will need you to keep feeding them content while working to improve the content by making it more appealing to their interest.

Gaining permission to share your content with bloggers is the important part of the business-blogger equation. Forming relationships that are mutually beneficial is the way to find success with connecting with bloggers.


Connecting with bloggers is something most businesses want to be able to do, but sometimes don’t know how or don’t have the resources needed to connect and maintain relationships.

It takes time to first connect with bloggers – a few messages back and forth to get familiar with each other. After this initial conversation it takes even more effort on the part of the business to keep up the flow of communication while providing appealing content and topics of discussion for the blogger to take and use as inspiration for their own content.

It’s a process that builds over time, but when a business can commit and understand the importance of the blogging community there can be real benefit to both of the parties involved.

What are your thoughts on connecting with bloggers?

Businesses: What relationships do you have with bloggers?

Bloggers: What relationships do you have with businesses?

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The Redesigned Outdoor Channel Website

Taking video to a new level of engagement

The New Outdoor Channel Website

Recently, I was watching videos on the Bulls and Beavers You Tube channel and I came across one with Todd Birkholz of The Outdoor Channel. Chris Burget of Bulls and Beavers is doing a quick interview with Todd as he presents The Outdoor Channel with a Best of the Best Award from Bulls and Beavers.

Toward the end of the video, Todd mentions the newly redesigned Website and how the wonderful content makes the online world one of the best of the best for hunters using the Web. The video as Todd describes is now available extensively on the new site (over 130 show pages with 50 state pages) so visitors can increase the value they receive from The Outdoor Channel. It’s a great strategy for The Outdoor Channel to improve their customers’ experience while increasing traffic and advertising revenue.

Let’s take a closer look at the newly redesigned site…

Online Video

The Outdoor Channel has always had some of the best video content available on their television channel so it makes sense that they highlight video content on their Website.

The presentation of the video player on the site is unique to The Outdoor Channel. The players sits on the right side of the page while there is a promotional area to the left that displays a rotating presentation of other channels. It’s a good setup to present the video content the visitors have chosen to view while cross promoting the other content on the site.

The full screen option has a clever design as well showcasing the other video content at the bottom of the screen for a brief second before it collapses so the viewer can view a true full screen of the video they’ve chosen.

An important aspect of the site to note is that there is some text content on each page to attract search engines. While search engines are getting better at crawling video and imagery on sites, they still need text to be able to determine what a site and page are about so they can return relevant results to their users.

Having detailed descriptions is a crucial element to have on your site if you’re going to utilize video.

Personalities and Branding

Outdoor Channel Personalities

The Outdoor Channel Personalities page is an example of a great way to organize content on a site.

Fans connect with and seek content from their favorite personalities and providing them with a way to access their favorites within a few clicks enhances user experience while increasing loyalty.

Once a visitor clicks on their favorite personality (or perhaps one they are curious about) they are taken to a page dedicated to personality. The pages are full of great bios, descriptions and of course great video clips.

Greg Miller In Pursuit

On each personality page, fans can connect with their favorite outdoor folks on Facebook or write comments on the Outdoor Channel page.

Each show on the channel has its own page on the site. This gives fans of individual shows access to exclusive content they can’t find anywhere else. There are video clips, photos, and other content to keep fans occupied while spending time on the site.

Greg Miller In Pursuit Show Page


With My Outdoor Channel, The Outdoor Channel has allowed their audience to build user generated content around the passions users share for the outdoors as well as for the content on The Outdoor Channel TV channel and the Website.

My Outdoor TV

I’m a big fan of hunting pictures, so the my outdoor channel photo gallery is wonderful to see.

My Outdoor Channel is a lot like MySpace and other social networking sites in that it allows users to keep profiles, find friends, post videos and photos, write blogs, and interact in other ways that connect people around their passion for the outdoors and The Outdoor Channel.

Monetizing Online Content

As with their TV strategy, it appears The Outdoor Channel is utilizing sponsorships and advertising to generate income from their site.

As the site continues adding video clips and more features that increase viewings and page views, they’ll see an increase in revenue as brands look to connect with their target audience that is viewing content on The Outdoor Channel.

Also available on the site are DVDs of popular shows on The Outdoor Channel. This is a strategy that seems to make sense as fans of the personalities and shows look to have hard, physical copies of their favorites at home for their viewing anytime they want.

Outdoor Channel DVDs

The Outdoor Channel DVDs

Possible Future Strategies

Entire Show Videos

Since The Outdoor Channel is focusing on ad revenue for their site, it’s important to increase the metrics that advertisers look for when determining where to spend their money. Advertisers are looking for branding opportunities and direct sales conversions for the companies.

From what I can see right now, it appears there are only clips of shows and videos on the site. This leaves viewers to subscribe to satellite or cable to view the entire shows on the television channel when the shows are scheduled (or on DVR at their viewing pleasures…which allows people to skip commercials).

It seems like it would be beneficial for The Outdoor Channel to test showing entire show videos on their site. They could break the videos up into segments to allow for advertising videos in between segments. There are other creative ways to implement successful and relevant advertising into clips and entire show videos as well.

Since viewers may not be able to see their favorites shows on TV each week they may be missing out and advertisers on the TV channel may be missing out on impressions. By allowing viewers to see shows on the site, The Outdoor Channel could increase traffic to the site while providing value to their customers giving visitors reason to repeatedly visit the site while increasing time on the site and traffic.


As a way to increase the text content on the site, The Outdoor Channel has the resources to put together an awesome blog for their followers.

Staff members could highlight videos on the site and write about what’s happening with the content on the site and the video on the TV channel. People like Todd could write about updates to the site’s features.

I like what the staff is doing with the CMT Blog. This could be a potential model to follow.

CMT Blog

There is potentially room to have the TV stars write posts and provide updates on their shows and what they’re seeing in the hunting world. Even if it was once a month or so, the content would add up and visitors would love it and keep coming to the site for updates.

Search engines love text content that is updated frequently and a blog seems like a perfect addition to the site.

The more content and page son the site would only increase page views, which means stronger metrics to entice relevant advertisers.


The Outdoor Channel’s new site is wonderful. There is a ton of great video content on the site for visitors to view and interact with. The way the content is displayed makes it easy for visitors to take in the video content and to share the content with their hunting buddies.

What are your thoughts on the newly redesigned Outdoor Channel Website?

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Archery Report | Business Review

With a solid, consistent focus, Archery Report is seeing strong growth

I came across a blog post from New Archery Products today in my RSS feed and stopped by the NAP Blog to read about their Quiktune Sizzor arrow rest. Check out the post The Sleeper for a great product review of the arrow rest. NAP does a great job of using high quality photos in their posts. The photos make for a better experience for visitors and although they don’t post often, I find myself always checking for the latest from NAP.

Quiktune Sizzor

At the bottom of the post, NAP left a link to another review for the Sizzor, Review: NAP Quicktune Sizzor Rest. The URL in the link was interesting so I followed it.

Archery Report

Archery Report

Archery Report is a blog and Website operated by Michael Larsen.

The report covers news views and reviews of all things affecting the world of archery. From reading a few of the posts, it is obvious that Michael has a healthy (probably depends who you ask) 🙂 obsession with archery. See 300 days to 300 for some insight. I love the passion.

I became more intrigued with Archery Report after checking out the stats on Compete (a habit of mine). It looks like the site was launched in July of 2009 and the pace of growth has been strong every since.

Michael discusses new archery products, news affecting the archery industry, and technique for shooting effectively. It’s quite the extensive archive of information if you’re an archery enthusiast.

Michael provides his own thoughts on news articles, which is something readers often seek from bloggers. News publications simply report the news, but one of the most sought after elements of the news is interpretation so bloggers can grow their audience by providing insight into the daily happenings in niches.

Also found on the site are extensive product reviews. Michael lays out tons of content including insight and photographs to create some of the best reviews I’ve read. For example, Hoyt Maxxis 31 and 35 Review and Spotlight.

The strategy for posting on Archery Report is effective and the growth in traffic proves that archers are connecting with the site and with Michael.


Consistently adding new posts and staying consistent with focus are two extremely important elements of successful blogs.

Too often (including myself) bloggers will struggle to keep adding new content to their blogs. As you develop a following, it’s important to continually feed new and interesting content to visitors. When they become hooked on your writing they’ll continue coming back repeatedly (even many times a day) if you provide them with content.

Search engines realize the important of consistency with post frequency as well. They realize how important frequent posting is to readers and reward sites that post quality content often with high authority in the search rankings.

For new blogs, it’s best to default at a high frequency (5-7 times a week or even more than once daily), but don’t forget to test different variations. Find out what your audience wants and provide the appropriate amount of content.

Quality and quantity are both important.

Effective Writing Style

After reading a few of Michael’s posts it’s safe to say that he has a unique voice in the outdoor industry and in the blogosphere. He has a technical side to his descriptions, but he has a way of describing situations like tuning with simplicity that makes it easy to understand.

Personally, I like the way he organizes his posts, especially his reviews. He uses headings, images, video, bulleted lists, summaries/conclusions, and other tools well. It makes for great reading when authors take the time to organize things so their readers can scan articles and dive deeper into the content when they choose.


Highlighted on the Archery Report Advertise page are a few statistics including some impressive search rankings. The site is ranking for relevant terms. Terms like 2010 bows, archery reviews, and 2010 bow reviews are competitive and have a good amount of traffic. It’s impressive that the site is ranking ahead of well-known archery sites for these terms.

It’s proof that Michael’s writing style, the site’s popularity, and the site’s technical layout make for a winning SEO combination.

Monetizing Archery Report

From my review, it appears that Archery Report is going about monetizing in the traditional ways: affiliate program and ads.

These are two viable options. I explained another option for bloggers in Profit from Your Blog.

For his book reviews, Michael is using an affiliate program to link to the books on Barnes & Nobles – a strong strategy that can be very effective if the reviews are valuable and plentiful.

Also on the site is the opportunity for advertising. It’s a strong possibility that with continued traffic growth that Archery Report will gain some advertising clients that will provide fixed revenue each month.

A final interesting aspect of Archery Report is the opportunity for hunting product manufacturers to send Michael their products for review. Michael provides the benefits to having Archery Report Review Your Product.

If this program gains enough traction, Michael could begin charging for the reviews as a way to provide further revenue.


Archery Report is an excellent example of a start-up blog that can see successful growth right from the beginning with the right formula of focus, consistency, writing style, and monetizing.

As the site sees more quality content regarding archery, I suspect it will continue to build its audience and become a strong player in the online archery world.

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The Beautiful Outdoors: 50 Amazing Photos

Inspiring outdoor imagery shared through the amazing Flickr Creative Commons Collection

Farm Rolling Hills

Courtesy of Nicholas_T

I came across an amazing post on Smashing Magazine, The Beauty of India: 50 Amazing Photos. The images are truly amazing.

I realized I haven’t done a collection of images from Flickr in some time and thought it would be fun to do another.

I like to use Flickr for just about every post on HBM. I feel that images add some depth to the experience with each post. And you know I love hunting pictures.

Here are the previous collections from the Flickr Creative Commons Series on HBM:

I chose images from the outdoors. Even though most of us realize the beauty in the outdoors already, I thought it would be great to collect some of the fine examples from the best photographers in the business.

These images are from fields, streams, and woods.

Hopefully these images can inspire you today…


Abandoned Barn in a Field

Abandoned Barn in a Field

Courtesy of Robb North

Spring Sunset Magic

Spring Sunset Magic

Courtesy of See1,Do1,Teach1

Coming Home to the Farm

Farm Road Field

Courtesy of Jody McNary Photography

Jody McNary Photography

Little Road to the Farm

Little Road to the Farm

Courtesy of tipiro

Green and Gold Farm Field

Green and Gold Farm Field

Courtesy of tipiro

Auto Graveyard

Auto Graveyard

Courtesy of seanmcgrath

Tulip Field and Hot Air Balloons

Tulip Field and Hot Air Balloons

Courtesy of jesse.milan

White Horse

White Horse Field

Courtesy of Wolfgang Staudt

Rusty Barn in Autumn

Rusty Barn in Autumn

Courtesy of jsorbieus

Cactus Field

Cactus Field

Courtesy of kevindooley

Yellow and Pink Flowers

Yellow and Pink Flowers

Courtesy of Per Ola Wiberg

Hay Bales Harvest Time

Hay Bales Harvest Time

Courtesy of pdam2

Old Farm and Truck

Old Farm and Truck

Courtesy of Grantsviews

Vintage Fence

Fencing Materials

Courtesy of Robb North

Bikes and Farm Fields

Bikes and Farm Fields

Courtesy of ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevissor

Lilac Tree

Courtesy of Robb North

Blue Flower Field

Blue Flower Field

Courtesy of Per Ola Wiberg


Backyard Stream

Backyard Stream

Courtesy of bslmmr

Stepping Stone Bridge

Stepping Stone Bridge

Courtesy of Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel

Gray Sky Stream

Gray Sky Stream

Courtesy of Richard0

Mexico Waterfall

Mexico Waterfall

Courtesy of zoutedrop

Hidden Falls

Hidden Falls

Courtesy of Nicholas_T

Shallow Stream and Falls

Small Stream After Rain

Courtesy of NeilsPhotography

Chirkhuwaa Khola at Baaluwani

Chirkhuwaa Khola

Courtesy of ` TheDreamSky 꿈꾸는 하늘

Winter Stream

Winter Stream

Courtesy of Nicholas_T

Forest Waterfall

Forest Waterfall

Courtesy of Nicholas_T

Cold Winter Stream

Cold Winter Stream

Courtesy of nagillum

Stream Under Bridge

Stream Under Bridge

Courtesy of paul (dex) busy @ work

Light Shining on Stream

Light Shining on Stream

Courtesy of eye of einstein

Shaky Bridge

Shaky Bridge

Courtesy of Nicholas_T

Vintage Dry Creek

Vintage Dry Creek

Courtesy of Robb North

Canada Mountain Stream

Canada Mountain Stream

Courtesy of *~Dawn~*


Rusty Car in the Woods

Rusty Car in the Woods

Courtesy of Nicholas_T

Forest Ablaze

Forest Ablaze

Courtesy of Nicholas_T

Sun Shining in the Forest

Sun Shining in the Forest

Courtesy of josef.stuefer

Green Glow Forest

Green Glow Forest

Courtesy of mindfulness

Rolling Hills and Trees

Rolling Trees

Courtesy of Nicholas_T

Falling Leaf

Falling Leaf

Courtesy of Memotion

Golden Autumn

Golden Autumn

Courtesy of Reinante El Pintor de Fuego

Narrow Road Through the Woods

Narrow Road in the Woods

Courtesy of Per Ola Wiberg

Abstract Woods

Abstract Woods

Courtesy of Reinante El Pintor de Fuego

Bright Green

Bright Green Forest

Courtesy of tipiro

Rock Path Golden Forest

Courtesy of Nicholas_T

Deer in the Woods

Deer in the Woods

Courtesy of Nicholas_T

Shadowy Path

Shadowy Path

Courtesy of GotMeAMuse

Snowy Forest

Snowy Forest

Courtesy of Vince Algoni

Autumn Morning

Autumn Morning

Courtesy of bslmmr

Colorful Woods

Colorful Woods

Courtesy of Problemkind

Repeating Forest

Repeating Forest

Courtesy of Wolfgang Staudt

Old Tree

Old Tree

Courtesy of gumuz

The Hunter

The Hunter

Courtesy of MysticMoon14

A Different Way to Profit From Your Blog

Have you thought about making profits from your blog?

Most folks that write to me asking for advice on blogging are looking for ways to make a little money for their hard efforts with writing, networking, and growing their blog.

It makes sense; we all want a little in return for the hard work that goes into blogging. However, profits are difficult to come by regarding the two forms of revenue most think of with blogging:

1) Ads

2) Affiliates.

It’s difficult for 99% of bloggers to make money this way. Obtaining the traffic bloggers use as justification for ad revenue takes lots of time and effort and most bloggers simply give up before reaching that level.

Ad revenue to support blogging can be done, but there is another option you can consider…

You can focus on obtaining freelance, part-time, or even full-time work as a writer for major publications.

Your Blog as a Resume

I agree with Adam Singer that your resume is meaningless.

While you probably need some kind of short list of accomplishments and certifications or the like, an actual resume is no longer important when it comes to finding a meaningful job.

The work you do online will be what defines you if you’re looking for quality work in the online world. If you’re writing a blog then your posts are your resume. The way your blog looks represents you and the quality of work you share with your audience.

What Publishers Want

The ability to steadily grow an audience that cares about what you have to say is huge when it comes to publishers that are looking for quality writers. They want to build their own audience as large as possible since their revenue is built on advertising and subscribers (which compete against each other in my opinion).

Prove that you can consistently write interesting content while steadily growing a loyal audience and you’ll be a prime candidate for publishers – online and offline.

What Publishers’ Readers Want

As a way to focus your writing for the publisher audience it would make sense to pick out a handful of publications you would imagine working for and write your content with their readers in mind.

Say for example you choose Field & Stream as a place where you could blog.

Figure out what the readers of Field & Stream are interested in reading. Go beyond the obvious (they like fishing and hunting). Think about the details they like reading.

Look at the articles already being published in the print magazine and on the online blogs. What are the most popular articles on the Field & Stream Website? Learn what their audience is already craving regarding online content and write some posts using their successful patterns.

The most popular articles from my own quick look at the site points to lists, how-to articles, and good stories about hunting and fishing that strike an emotional nerve with readers.

Figure out the publications you’d like to write for and work to find the article formulas that will attract the attention of their readers. The publication’s decision makers will take notice if you’re attracting their audience.

And also link to their articles and mention the publication’s name…the decision makers will get notices if they’re apt at the online world and they’ll check you out.

Reality of Profits

Now, before getting all excited about the prospects of a new writing job for Field & Stream please remember that most writers don’t become millionaires.

However, it’s possible to turn your love of writing about the outdoors into a decent secondary source or in the best case a primary source of income for a comfortable lifestyle.

Other Opportunities

Writing and publishing articles on your own blog is a great way to build your archives and build you understanding of the type of content people are interested in. As a result of this knowledge, you’ll be able to potentially land some writing jobs that can lead to some good secondary income.

If you wish, there are also opportunities to write content that people are willing to purchase. You could write a how-to book and share the profits with a major publisher. You can use their clout to help you promote the content (say for example a book) while giving them some of the revenue in return.

Deer & Deer Hunting has a great collection of how-to books on deer hunting. They do research and analyses on everything to do with deer hunting and avid hunters pay a good deal of money to read what their writers have to say.

You can take a similar approach as your grow you audience and begin understanding the type of content they would be willing purchase.


Making profits online is difficult in the sense of advertising and affiliate revenue.

And while making secondary income by becoming employed as a writer for other publishers is difficult as well, it may be a more obtainable goal for most bloggers.

Growing an audience takes time and ad and affiliate revenue require large audiences. Most bloggers will simply give up and not be willing to put in the time and effort to grow a huge audience that can generate substantial secondary income.

Try focusing on a gaining some income from writing for other publishers and you might be able to turn your hobby into a real source of secondary income sooner.

What are your thoughts?

Do you have experience with writing for other publishers?

Please share in the comments.

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