The Best Hunting Picture Galleries

Hunters view thousands of hunting pictures on the Web…every day

The competition for the attention of hunters is heating up online and some folks are using quality hunting picture galleries to attract attention away from the competition.

My personal favorites tend to be the galleries that are easy on the eyes, easy to navigate and the ones that have the best photos of trophy game. My favorite type of hunting is bowhunting for whitetails so I always love seeing great photos related to this hunting niche.

Here are the best hunting picture galleries…

Field & Stream

Site: Field & Stream

Gallery: Field & Stream Photos

Overview

The Field & Stream Photo Gallery is one of the most popular galleries on the Web. F&S has the best selection of lists and collections of hunting pictures on the Web. People love lists and that includes hunters. The F&S ‘Best of’ collections make for great photo viewing. To increase involvement with their target audience, the team at F&S also encourage users to submit their best photos. F&S then takes the time to highlight the user photos in ways that make the users the stars. This is a great way to highlight the success of others and give them a vested interest in the gallery. I also like the mix of professional photos as well.

For more see Critique of the Field and Stream Photo Gallery

Petersen’s Hunting

Site: Petersen’s Hunting

Gallery: Petersen’s Hunting Trophy Room

Overview

The Petersen’s Hunting gallery is entirely user-submitted. On the photo gallery home page visitors have the option to view the highlighted photos, the most recent photos, the most popular photos, and users can view photos by collection and category. Giving visitors options when it comes to viewing segments of your photo gallery is important. Some visitors will want to search for specific types of photos. To satisfy these visitors you’ll want to offer a way to search the photos. Other visitors will want to discover new photos that meet their interests. This is where the categories are helpful (ex: I like whitetails. I can click on the whitetail section).

Duck’s Unlimited

Site: Duck’s Unlimited

Gallery: Duck’s Unlimited Photo Gallery

Widget: Duck’s Unlimited Member Photo of the Day Widget

Overview

Ducks Unlimited is a gallery I’ve only recently discovered and I’m glad I did. The user photos in this gallery are spectacular. DU members are allowed to submit photos and it’s apparent that some of the members are professional photographers. And that makes for some inspirational and breath-taking photographs of wildlife (ducks and waterfowl).

Something that sets the DU gallery apart from some of the others is their embeddable widget. Check it out and if you want to see the daily photos on your Website or blog you can. Widgets are great for increasing your audience and search engines love the links they create back to the site.

Bowhunting.com

Site: Bowhunting.com

Gallery: Bowhunting.com Photos

Overview

It’s no secret that Bowhunting.com is one of my favorite hunting sites. I’ve written about them and included them in collections before (5 Hidden Treasures on the Web, The Top 50 Blog Posts of 2009, 25 Tips from 25 Hunting Industry Leaders). The team at Bowhunting.com are experts at hunting and sharing their insight and knowledge through their videos, photos, and blog posts. There is a great mix of trail cam photos, harvest trophies, and general photography for hunting product reviews and more. The photo gallery is easy to navigate and the photos are of high quality.

Bowhunting.com is one of the galleries that offers visitors the opportunity to comment on individual photos. Something Field & Stream doesn’t have yet (you can comment on the entire collection or gallery only). Some also offer visitors the chance to rate photos like Ducks Unlimited and others.

Buckmasters

Site: Buckmasters

Gallery: Buckmasters Trophy Gallery

Overview

The Buckmasters Trophy Gallery is not the best of the bunch, but they have a ton of great user photographs due to the company’s popularity. I’m not sure if it was just me, but this gallery took awhile to load and the auto-play music was a bit annoying (not the music, but the fact that it was playing automatically. See more Video on Your Website). It’s a cumbersome gallery, but it has good photos and it’s a well known brand.

Lone Wolf

Site: Lone Wolf Portable Treestands

Gallery: Lone Wolf Trophy Gallery

Overview

Lone Wolf is a bit of a sleeper in this collection. I’m a huge fan of the design of the Lone Wolf site so it’s no surprise that I’d like their photo gallery. I also think it’s important to show that hunting product manufacturers can have successful photo galleries (as well as any hunting industry company). Users submit photos and while some aren’t the best the scrolling is easy and the thumbnail setup is simple.

CamoSpace

Site: CamoSpace

Gallery: CamoSpace Gallery

Overview

CamoSpace seems to be one of the few social networking hunting sites that has actually had some success. They have partnered with some big companies and some big folks that are famous for more than just hunting (Luke Bryan – great music). It’s a formula that has worked for growing the membership on the site. The photo gallery is 100% user-submitted. That format can lead to some noise (see the trucks), but there are still a ton of photos in the gallery and many of them are great…even if they are a little difficult to find.

ESPN Outdoors Hunting

Site: ESPN Outdoors Hunting

Gallery: Hunting Photo Galleries

Overview

It isn’t the prettiest and it isn’t the easiest to use, but ESPN makes the list because the brand is huge and the hunting shows on the channel are popular. Plus I loved the shows on ESPN Outdoors on Saturday morning when I was growing up.

Big Grass Outfitters

Site: Big Grass Outfitters

Gallery: Big Grass Outfitters Trophy Gallery

Overview

It’s important for outfitters to have galleries as part of their informational sites. Potential customers want visual proof of success. And past customers can be the best referral service when they push their friends to go on the site and view their photos.

Heartland Lodge

Site: Heartland Lodge

Gallery: Heartland Lodge Photo Gallery

Overview

One of the best looking sites in the hunting industry, Heartland Lodge makes great use of a photo gallery to show their potential customers the wonders they have to offer. I love that they use existing technology in Picasa to power their photo gallery. Remember that you don’t always have to work hard to develop your own style of gallery. Use galleries that already exist.

The categories in the gallery are great, but the titles of each photo are another story…

Gander Mountain

Site: Gander Mountain

Gallery: Gander Mountain Braggin’ Board

Overview

I grew up near a Gander Mountain (no Cabela’s nearby and I didn’t use the Web at the time) and I loved checking out the physical cork braggin’ board in store. Customers were always putting their trophies on the board and I loved looking at them all. Those Polaroids were great. With this gallery, Gander Mountain has brought that experience to the Web.

Greenwood Springs Plantation

Site: Greenwood Springs Plantation

Gallery: Greenwood Springs Plantation Photos

Overview

I came across this site toward the end of this post but I just had to include it. It’s a beautiful design and I love that they use Flickr for their photo gallery. The photos could be titled, tagged and included in Creative Commons on Flickr, but it’s a great use of a great photo gallery tool.

Elements of a Quality Gallery

As I browsed the Web in search of the best hunting galleries, I noted a few elements that should be standard on all folks considering a photo gallery for their site:

1) Multi-size Options

With image size, there is a battle between load time of the page and the quality and size of the image you want to load for your viewer’s viewing pleasure. Most sites offer an initial smaller version of images for scrolling and initial viewing, but offer visitors the option to zoom in or enlarge the photo, usually in some kind of pop-up. I think it’s a good compromise. Allow visitors the pleasure of a fast loading page with smaller images and if they have the capacity, they can zoom in or enlarge the photo.

2) Thumbnail Options

Something I’m in favor of when it comes to galleries are thumbnail viewing options. Popular photo gallery sites like Flickr (Flickr Hunting) offer thumbnail viewing so users can see multiple photos at once while being able to choose the ones they want to view in more detail.

3) Easy Scrolling

An important feature of galleries is the ability to scroll from photo to photo. Once a user has chosen a particular gallery to view they want to be able to scroll from photo to photo quickly and easily.

4) Proper Tagging and Titling

Giving the proper title and the appropriate tag to each photo in your gallery is important for your visitors so they understand what they’re viewing. Tagging and titling photos and galleries properly is also important for optimizing your gallery for search engines.

5) Sharing Abilities

Giving visitors the ability to share and bookmark the photos in a gallery is extremely important for the growth of your site’s traffic and audience. Build in the word of mouth aspects of a gallery and make sure the photos are worth talking about people will spread the word.

Bonus Element

Calls to action are important for any site that is aimed at selling something to visitors. With a bit of programming and planning, sites could take advantage of internal linking to sell relevant products to customers that are viewing the photos in galleries. For example, a company could ask users to submit the equipment used to harvest a trophy. List and link the equipment on the photo to the product pages and you have potential sales. A site like Gander Mountain could do this.

Your Favorite Hunting Picture Galleries

Did I miss your favorite gallery? Please share in the comments.

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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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Starting a Hunting Business – Foxfire Outdoors

Does your business pass the ‘So what?’ test?

Water Drop

Rick Kratzke of Whitetail Woods introduced me to a group of hunters from West Pennsylvania that are recording and producing their own brand of fair chase deer hunting.

Jeff, Josh, and Anthony make up the team that is Foxfire Outdoors.

The Foxfire Team has great ambitions to turn their passion into a successful hunting business. When individuals show the drive to take their passion to the next level it gets others excited and even though the road is difficult, people will join the passionate team in pursuit of success.

Foxfire Outdoors

Foxfire Outdoors

Website: Foxfire Outdoors

DVD: Keystone Madness

According to the Foxfire Team and Rick via his blog post, Go Hunting With Foxfire Outdoors, the team has been filming their hunting adventures for a few years, but have recently made the decision to produce professional videos to sell with the eventual goal of turning Foxfire Outdoors into a major hunting industry brand.

Suggestions for Success

After taking a look at other similar businesses and thinking about ways Foxfire can find success I put down a few suggestions for the team…

Unique Marketing Angle

New businesses need to determine why hunters and potential customers should care about their product. They need to pass the ‘So what?’ question that customers will ask when they see your product on the shelf or on your Website.

Foxfire will need to determine what it is about their unique brand of hunting and hunting videos that will make hunters want to watch. There are millions of videos and lots of written content on the Web and all of the content creators are vying for the limited attention of Foxfire’s targeted customer.

My suggestion, after watching a few of the videos, would be for Foxfire to take their existing videos and try adding a few extra segments that add value as a way to test with their audience the ones that attract the most attention.

One of the possible things to test with the videos would be a short terrain analysis of the hunting situation.

Foxfire could have a sit down style segment where they take topo and aerial maps and dissect their strategy for each of their hunts. I would also suggest going through the video of the hunts while pointing out terrain funnels, feeding patterns, time of day, scrape activity, etc.

The fall deer season is also the season for football. One of the popular segments on NFL shows is to analyze the video tape and even draw X’s and O’s of specific plays so the viewers at home can gain and understanding for how the play developed. This allows the viewers to learn about how the game is played and they’ll be better prepared the next game and have more fun as they are able to see the plays taking shape.

Now, only the most passionate NFL fans find this type of analyze enjoyable.

It’s also true that this type of strategy will only attract the most passionate of hunters, but that OK. In the online world it’s the passionate people you want as loyal fans of your business.

Strategic Partnerships

One of the things Foxfire is already doing is creating strategic partnerships.

Foxfire is reaching out for sponsors who manufacture products and offers services that fit with the business at Foxfire Outdoors.

It’s crucial to the success of any business to create partnerships that allow businesses to share the interest in the success. When a business like Foxfire enters into a partnership with a sponsor such as Deer Ridge Innovations, Inc., they are creating a relationship where the success of one company is important for the growth of the other. Because the businesses are associated with one another there is interest by both parties to push the other onto success. This can be through the form of operational strategies to simple tips on ways to market products and services.

Foxfire is on the right track with their strategy to gain strategic partnerships. Staying on this track will lead to sustained success.

Email Newsletter

Successful businesses understand that consistent communication with customers is important for building loyalty and trust.

Loyalty and trust are the keys to lifetime value when it comes to customers who are willing to purchase your products and services for a long period of time.

Today, email newsletters are great ways to consistently communicate with your customers and even potential customers are you discuss the important and valuable aspects of your business.

For Foxfire, starting an email newsletter would be a great way to build buzz about new video clips, upcoming DVDs, upcoming contests, and other ways for the subscribers to interact with the company and the team.

Communication is crucial for building loyalty and trust. Loyalty and trust will lead to long-term customers, which leads to a successful business.

Blogger Outreach

Foxfire is taking a great step by forming relationships with hunters and bloggers. They are using communication tools such as CamoSpace. This is how the Foxfire Team met Rick of Whitetail Woods. As a result of this relationship, the two parties were able to help each other. Rick was able to get a good story for his blog by writing about the things Foxfire is doing to leave their unique mark in the hunting world.

Since bloggers are a business’s best resource on the Web, it’s important for Foxfire to continue reaching out to bloggers such as the outdoor hunting bloggers at the Outdoor Bloggers Summit.

The key is to approach bloggers in a way that shows you have something of value to offer them. Be prepared to offer something of value first. This could be in the form of offering a DVD for a blogger so they can run a contest on their site. Or to potentially write a guest post about hunting video production.

There are lots of ways businesses can reach out to bloggers to form mutually beneficial partnerships. Get creative with the things your business can offer bloggers and then reach out with a friendly hand.

Summary

Foxfire has some exciting hunting footage. The team is definitely on the right track for hunting business success.

It’s exciting to see passionate hunters working hard with their passion for video production and hunting and turning it into something hunters find entertaining and educational.

Communication is crucial for Foxfire as they’ll have to reach out to influencers in the online hunting world in an effort to reach a larger, but passionate audience of hunters.

By working toward building relationships with bloggers and honing their craft for video production, Foxfire will find success in the hunting industry.

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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

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39| Daily Blogs Tips

Website: Daily Blog Tips

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

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40| Online Marketing Blog

Website: Online Marketing Blog

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

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41| Lateral Action

Website: Lateral Action

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42| Online Marketing Blog

Website: Online Marketing Blog

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Strategic Link Building for SEO

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43| Copyblogger

Website: Copyblogger

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44| SEO Book

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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

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47| Daily Blog Tips

Website: Daily Blog Tips

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 8 Tips for Aspiring entrepreneurs

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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

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Image courtesy of jurvetson

5 Business Mistakes You Can Learn From

Learn from the mistakes of others to find success

Rainbow

Image courtesy of Nicholas_T

What is arguably the most crucial key to success is to learn from your mistakes as you test and innovate with strategies that aim to improve the connection you and your business have with your customers.

While it’s to your advantage to be aware of your own mistakes, it’s also important to be aware of the things your competitors and other businesses are doing on the Web that lead to testing mistakes.

Now, the way I use the word ‘mistakes’ in this article should be put in the context of performing tests with your business with the ‘mistakes’ being unanticipated outcomes.

Let’s take a closer look at how you can from business mistakes…

1| Failure to Address Customer Concerns in Comments

Singing

Image courtesy of Solitaire Miles

Say you have a strategy to read quality articles about your industry. There is much to learn from the articles themselves, but one unanticipated outcome of quality articles is found in the comments.

Your customers are likely expressing their frustrations in the comments of quality articles and blog posts throughout the Web on your competitors’ sites.

Are the competitors addressing these customer frustrations?

If not, perhaps you could leave a comment (not spammy, but helpful) or better yet you could see how to potentially get in contact with the commenter/customer.

2| Full Contest Participation

Silence

Image courtesy of circo de invierno ⑲ ~

Sometimes companies will run really great contests. Usually the contest will offer free merchandise the company is selling or services the company provides for businesses.

If the company is well-known they will likely have lots of fans who are also influencers on the Web. These folks will likely take the great news of the company’s contest and often share the news with their networks. Tools used to spread the news include, but are not limited to: blog posts, Twitter, Delicious, Digg, etc.

Company’s usually expect their followers and customers to share the news of contests with their friends on networks, but an unanticipated outcome to contests can be when a company’s followers also write blog posts about certain events.

Opportunistic companies will listen to their followers who are also influencers on the Web, especially bloggers, and reach out to make a valuable connection. A company that has strong relationships with bloggers will be at an advantage not only for spread the word on valuable company doings, but will also be put in position to acquire quality links – key for strong search traffic.

3| Responding on Twitter

Yawning Lion

Image courtesy of Reinante El Pintor de Fuego

Many companies are starting to use Twitter.

Many companies are also trying different things to build their presence on the communication medium. A few of the great companies I follow on Twitter sparingly use the medium. There is of course nothing wrong with using Twitter to occasionally share a quality link or to engage in a contest.

Something I also see on Twitter that occasionally bothers me is when companies receive @replies (from me sometimes) and don’t reply to the @replies. I also see companies being talked about on Twitter and the companies aren’t responding or acknowledging the chatter about them on Twitter or related communications mediums.

The good news is that companies are experimenting with technologies like Twitter. The smart companies will take advantage of the unanticipated outcome of Twitter – word of mouth – and interact with their followers.

4| Utilizing Reviews/Testimonials

Fire Flower

Image courtesy of Reinante El Pintor de Fuego

Customer reviews are becoming essential for any company doing business online. Reviews have always been a huge part of sales and the Web is making it easier for companies to receive and utilize awesome reviews and testimonials.

An unanticipated outcome of increasing your presence on the Web is that you now have to utilize testimonials on your Website and in other areas to stay competitive. The online world is looking for social proof and properly using testimonials is essential.

5| Showcasing the Amazingness of Customers

Goose Landing

Image courtesy of pheanix300

Another unexpected outcome of increasing your participation on the Web is the fact that you’re going to have more influence and get more dedicated customers and followers the more you highlight the amazingness of your customers and followers rather than yourself and your company.

If you write blog posts or if you share links on Twitter, highlight the things your customers and followers do that is amazing and noteworthy. Web users and influencers love reading about great things people like themselves do both on and off the Web.

You can use your authority voice to share stories of success.

One last thing – by sharing the success stories of your customers, they will have stock in your blog and will share their story with their network. It’s a great way for spreading the good word about your Web presence.

The Real Lesson

It’s important to learn from your own mistakes since you have a front row seat to the humility you put on yourself through endless testing and innovation as your work to find your formula for success.

I try to learn from my mistakes while also staying aware of the mistakes others make with their own testing. It seems to work best as long as one works to continually shoring up lessons learned from past mistakes so as not to repeat them while always working to find new ways to innovate, which will lead to new mistakes.

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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.

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Image courtesy of Dplanet::

50 Best Hunting Website Designs

A common theme in the hunting industry…

Danner Boots

I wanted to search for 50 of what I considered to be the most well designed hunting Websites. What I found is that hunting business owners and managers like dark graphics and backgrounds. There is a lot of reverse type (light text on dark background).

Some of the sites I liked the most put their product images front and center. I loved how companies actually showed their products – from many angles too – rather than highlighting text. Descriptive copy definitely has its place, but I seemed to find the ones with expert design and imagery the most intriguing.

Summary

What’s Popular

  • Dark Backgrounds
  • Reverse Font
  • Big Images

Good Elements

  • Big Images
  • 3D Look
  • Light Backgrounds (Danner is my favorite)

Let’s take a closer look at the 50 best hunting Websites

Bowhunting.com

Visit the site – Bowhunting.com

Bowhunting

New Archery Products

Visit the site – New Archery Products

New Archery Products

Mathews Inc.

Visit the site – Mathews Inc.

Visit the Shopping site – Shop Mathews

Mathews

Native Hunt

Visit the site – Native Hunt

Native Hunt

My Outdoor TV

Visit the site – My Outdoor TV

My Outdoor TV

Buffalo County Outfitters

Visit the site – Buffalo County Outfitters

Buffalo County Outfitters

Trophy Ridge

Visit the site – Trophy Ridge

Trophy Ridge

Bear Archery

Visit the site – Bear Archery Products

Bear Archery

LL Bean

Visit the site – LL Bean

LL Bean

Lone Wolf Stands

Visit the site – Lone Wolf Stands

Lone Wolf

Buck Knives

Visit the site – Buck Knives

Buck Knives

Field & Stream Brand

Visit the site – Field and Stream Brand

Field and Stream Brand

Robinson Outdoors

Visit the site – Robinson Outdoors

Scentblocker

Heartland Lodge Hunting

Visit the site – Heartland Lodge Hunting

Heartland Lodge

Base Camp Legends

Visit the site – Base Camp Legends

Base Camp Legends

Addicted to Hunting

Visit the site – Addicted to Hunting

Addicted to Hunting

Elk Creek Outfitting

Visit the site – Elk Creek Outfitting

Elk Creek Outfitting

Danner

Visit the site – Danner Boots

Danner

Orvis

Visit the site – Orvis

Orvis

Stormy Kromer

Visit the site – Stormy Kromer

Stormy Kromer

Beman

Visit the site – Beman

Beman

Gander Mountain

Visit the site – Gander Mountain

Gander Mountain

Remington

Visit the site – Remington Gunmaker

Remington

Winchester

Visit the site – Winchester Ammunition

Winchester

Hornady

Visit the site – Hornady Ammunition

Hornady

Leupold

Visit the site – Leupold Optics

Leupold

Federal Ammunition

Visit the site – Federal Ammunition

Federal Ammo

Beretta USA

Visit the site – Beretta USA

Beretta

Easton Archery

Visit the site – Easton Archery

Easton

Carbon Express

Visit the site – Carbon Express

Carbon Express

Rivers Edge Treestands

Visit the site – Rivers Edge Treestands

Rivers Edge

Stealth Cam

Visit the site – Stealth Cam Digital Scouting Camera

Stealth Cam

Cuddeback

Visit the site – Cuddeback Digital Scouting Cameras

Cuddeback

ScentLok

Visit the site – ScentLok

ScentLok

Duck Commander

Visit the site – Duck Commander

Duck Commander

Under Armour

Visit the site – Under Armour – Athletes Hunt

Under Armour Athletes Hunt

Rich-N-Tone Calls

Visit the site – RNT Calls

Rich N Tone Calls

Surefire

Visit the site – Surefire

Surefire

The American Outdoorsman

Visit the site – The American Outdoorsman

American Outdoorsman

Versus Country

Visit the site – Versus Country

Versus

Peterson’s Hunting

Visit the site – Peterson’s Hunting

Peterson's Hunting

Field & Stream

Visit the site – Field & Stream

Field and Stream

High Adventure Ranch

Visit the site – High Adventure Ranch

High Adventure Ranch

Outdoor Life

Visit the site – Outdoor Life

Outdoor Life

Muskoka Outdoors

Visit the site – Muskoka Outdoors

Muskoka Outdoors

Tink’s

Visit the site – Tink’s Buck Lures

Tink's

Leatherman

Visit the site – Leatherman Multi-tools

Leatherman

Rocky

Visit the site – Rocky Shoes and Boots

Rocky Boots

Bushnell

Visit the site – Bushnell

Bushnell

Michael Waddell

Visit the site – Michael Waddell

Michael Waddell

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Sponsorship Case Study – Team Huntress

People look to others they trust to help them make decisions – including purchasing decisions

Team Huntress Empowering Women in the Outdoors

Increasing your business’s Web presence begins with forming trusting relationships with your customers. There is a lot of transparency on the Web and the companies that are able to build trusting relationships with customers are the ones who will succeed in the future.

One of the ways to build trust with customers is through sponsorships and becoming involved in creative ways with the people, businesses and organizations your potential customers already trust.

Due to the recent conversation in the HBM Forum on Race Car Sponsorship, I’ve wanted to write the opportunities for hunting businesses to gain exposure with new audiences through sponsorships, but I wasn’t sure how to approach the topic. Then, a short while ago, Dave Olsen of Pheasant Phun and Team Huntress contacted me and introduced the concept of Team Huntress.

After hearing what the program was about I thought it would be beneficial to look at Team Huntress and the companies who sponsor the program in case study format so you can get a better feel for the opportunity to market your business with sponsorships like the ones offered by Team Huntress.

Let’s take a look at the Team Huntress story and the opportunity for you and your business to grow through sponsorships such as the ones other hunting businesses have done with Team Huntress.

Team Huntress

Team Huntress

First, a little background (please read the entire description at the Team Huntress Website):

Team Huntress was formed as an avenue to direct and empower women on their path toward outdoor success. By providing exploration and discovery in a safe and secure environment, ladies will be aligned to boost their confidence and self esteem.

Team Huntress also offers:

* Certified Hunter Safety Program

* Instruction for proper firearm (handgun, rifle, and shotgun) and archery use

* Small class size – 18 or fewer per outing

Read the following reviews for more on Team Huntress:

The Team Huntress secret formula: Guns + Archery + Massages = Happy Women

For $995, you get the best of both worlds that outdoorswomen inhabit – archery and firearms instruction with tons of spa treatments and tons of cool gifts that you find someone has left on your bed each night (seriously, I came home last time with some great swag from Prois, RealTree, Doeville and Tanka Bar).

Revolutionary Team Huntress Outdoor Adventure Clinic

That formula – instruction, female staff and pampering – proved highly effective at the inaugural Team Huntress Outdoor Adventure Clinic at Pheasant Phun in June. Women who’d never fired a gun felt secure taking those first steps and found they really enjoyed what they were learning. By the end of the weekend, participants were abuzz about the shooting sports and the new friendships they’d formed.

Interview: Jane Keller, Team Huntress

The end of the weekend, participants were abuzz about the shooting sports and the new friendships they’d formed. Participants and instructors evolved into a close network of outdoor friends. It is the goal of Team Huntress to leave you with an “I can do anything” attitude. I have bonded with friends in the vast outdoors who will guide and support me every step of the way!!!  Team Huntress is here to help empower you for outdoor success, support and encourage you on your journey through life, and always be Your Personal Outdoor Adventure Network of Friends.

Team Huntress Outdoor Adventure Clinic

What do the ladies of Team Huntress have in store for you:

* Firearm and archery clinics

* General outdoor safety and first aid clinics

* Outdoor photography

* Wild game cooking

* ATV, GPS and nature walking

* Yoga, massages, wine tasting, star gazing and much more

Team Huntress Sponsors

Beyond the price for attending each outing, Team Huntress uses sponsorships for monetary and product needs. There are a variety of ways businesses can get involved with Team Huntress. Here are a few of the businesses that are sponsoring Team Huntress.

Doeville – Product Sponsor

Doeville

As part of the Team Huntress Outings, participants receive gifts each day. Doeville became involved as a product sponsor with Team Huntress by providing a leather hunting diary ($40 value) for each participant in the Team Huntress events.

Doeville Hunting Diary

Hunting businesses that are just starting out are often strapped for cash initially, but the need to gain exposure still remains. One of the ways to gain exposure without giving direct monetary compensation is provide product sponsorships that resonate with potential customers.

By providing a hunting diary for each participant in the Team Huntress event, Doeville was able to get their product and name in front of potential customers. Not only will the participants of the event remember Doeville for hunting apparel, jewelry, and art products for themselves, but the products at Doeville also make for excellent gifts for others.

There is opportunity for your business to provide product or service sponsorships with events and organizations that cater to your target audience. By putting your products in front of your target audience and letting them use the products in a setting where they can understand the full benefits of the product, you’re connecting with potential customers while building trusting relationships that can mean long-term business.

When considering a product sponsorship opportunity, think about the audience and who they connect with. In the example of Team Huntress, it might make sense for a hunting apparel business to outfit the event with the necessary shooting apparel while also offering an introductory offer on related hunting and shooting apparel that includes men’s, women’s, and children product lines.

Faini Designs – Sponsor a Scholarship

Faini Designs Jewelry Studio

Faini Designs became involved with Team Huntress by sponsoring a scholarship for a woman to attend the Team Huntress Event. Faini paid the cost of the outing and the participant was able to partake in the event that she may have never been able to attend without the sponsorship.

Today, as a result of Faini providing the scholarship, the participant is shooting archery nearly every day while being active in the outdoors.

Having your business attached to success stories is most importantly a wonderful way to give opportunities to those who may not otherwise be able to participate in such events as Team Huntress. Also, having your business as the sponsor in a situation like Faini is a way to build trust with your potential customers. Not only did all of the participants at the event become exposed to Faini, they now have a story to tell when they talk to their friends and family about their Team Huntress experience and the name attached to the story is Faini Designs.

Team Huntress also takes time during each event to highlight each of their sponsors and the benefit they provide for their customers. They also offer space on their Websites for sponsorships, which are year round marketing opportunities to expand your audience and build trust with your potential customers.

By attaching your business with stories that your potential customers connect with, you can begin building the trust necessary to acquire long-term, quality customers that can carry your business for a long time.

Look for opportunities to sponsor individuals who can participate in events like Team Huntress. Look for a story that can be shared by your potential audience and look for genuine businesses that can help you build trust with your potential customers.

Other Ways to Sponsor

As an outfitter, Dave Olsen knows that it’s difficult for outfitters to offer free outings for businesses who promise video time or reviews for the hunting experience. There can be lots of disappointment as expectations are not always met with such arrangements.

It’s for this reason that outfitters need to look for these opportunities to provide access to facilities and hunting property with quality and trusted organizations and businesses.

By establishing clear expectations for return on investment with trusted organization, there is a lot of opportunity to expand your audience by being a host outfitter.

Be a Host Outfitter

Hosting an event like Team Huntress provides great exposure for an outfitter who is looking to expand their audience. By hosting such an event, an outfitter can become part of the story that will be shared by all who take part in the event.

In the example of Team Huntress, Dave hosted an event at his property with Pheasant Phun Outfitters. Pheasant Phun has actually been named the most women-hunter-friendly outfitter in the United States and such recognition can mean business. Such recognitions can increase the level of trust between outfitters such as Pheasant Phun as he looks for hunters who are looking for comfort with a quality hunting experience.

Look for hunters who can provide experiences that include:

* Video

* Podcasting

* Positive, but reputable reviews

* Potential repeat customers

In a situation like Team Huntress, there may be potential for participants to return (possibly with their entire family) if their experience through Team Huntress is positive. This would be an example of building a trusting relationship that provides return for the hosting business.

Hosting an event like Team Huntress provides opportunity for outfitters to market their businesses without providing cash for advertisements and the like. However, there are risks involved with hosting events since the investment of hosting hunters without cash payments is always risky.

Be sure to perform due diligence with organizations and businesses before offering to host an event. Once you’re sure you’re working with reputable and trusting individuals, work to make their experience a story that can be shared throughout the hunting industry and watch your audience grow as you potentially gain a larger audience and more trusting customers.

Full Sponsor

A final way for a business to fully embrace the sponsorship opportunity is to become a full sponsor with an organization like Team Huntress.  Hunting businesses, especially those in the consumable arena (ammunition, targets, scent, etc.) can become involved with sponsorships and see great return on their investment.

In a situation like Team Huntress, participants are generally new to hunting or are looking to expand their knowledge of the sport and the outdoors. Through the event, participants get a lot of exposure to products like ammunition, for example. This exposure would be away for an ammunition company to build a trusting relationship with potential customers are they become familiar with the products. When the participants leave the event they will look for products from companies they can trust and are familiar with as they continue the participation with outdoor activities such as shooting.

The opportunity to become involved with organizations and events like Team Huntress can mean great reward for businesses. Look for organizations and individuals that look to build trusting relationships with their own audiences. Look for individuals that are passionate and serious about their craft. Passion is contagious and its passion that breeds the stories that customers share.

Opportunity to Reach Women in the Outdoors

When Dave contacted me he brought up an interesting point about the opportunity for businesses to reach a potentially underserved audience – women who are passionate about the outdoors, shooting sports, and hunting.

Team Huntress is filling a need for women who are looking to empower themselves and become more involved in the outdoors and activities such as shooting sports and hunting.

Is your business exploring the potential in reaching out and connecting with the eager women in the outdoor audience? Perhaps your business could be the one to fill a need like Team Huntress.

Another example of a company reaching out to build trust with the female audience is Harley-Davidson with Women Riders.

Acquiring new customers is difficult and as business owners we look to align our products with audiences and potential customers who have the highest likelihood of connection with our business. Acquiring new customers requires businesses to look at all options and there may potentially be a mutually beneficial option for your business and women in the outdoors.

Conclusion – Building Trust

There is opportunity for your business to connect with new audiences while building trusting relationships with potential customers through sponsorships.

The form of sponsorship can vary:

* Product

* Scholarship Sponsor

* Host Outfitter

* Big Sponsor

The goal of any sponsorship you consider is that the relationship with the organization and their audience should be about building trust.

Have you had experience with sponsoring events, outings, or other hunting businesses?

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

To contact Team Huntress about sponsorship opportunities:

Jane Keller Founder/Outdoor Concierge
Team Huntress
18526 398th Ave
Hitchcock, SD, 57348

Phone: 605.266.2848
Cell: 605.450.0931
Fax: 605.266.2887
Email: jane@teamhuntress.com

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Please note that no monetary, product, or service has been provided to Hunting Business Marketing or me (Dayne Shuda) for the writing of this article.

Ways to Increase Traffic

It’s the number one question for Website owners and managers

Long Exposure Traffic

image credit: Nelson D.

Part of the process for Comment and Receive a Copy of Hunting Business Marketing | The Book was to leave your frustration in the comments. The comments you left were great and I think we’re going to get some great blog posts as a result.

First, a big thanks to those who commented:

Ben G of Ben G Outdoors

JoAnna Zurinsky of My Bullet Points

Marc Reindell of Wildlife Callers

Scott Solar of Shotgunner.la

Willie of Outdoor Freaks

Native of Native Hunt (HBM Member)

Terri Lee of Camp Wild Girls

Rudy Hassall of Winded Bowhunter

There were two themes concerning frustrations in the comments:

1| Increase traffic, gain more followers, gain more subscribers, etc

2| Making money with a blog or Website

Let’s address these two frustrations with a two-part series starting with increasing traffic.

Stay tuned for the follow up…

Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website

This is definitely the most asked question of any business owner looking to expand their Web presence. Getting traffic (and quality traffic) to your Website is something that will drive revenue for your business and expand your Web presence, which means connections that can turn into long-term business partnerships.

My view for getting traffic has been that there are generally two ways for most Websites and businesses to acquire visitors:

1| Save time and pay with money

2| Save money and pay with time

The exceptions to these rules are the sites that find a way to really connect and capture the attention of a wide variety of Web users who become passionate about what the site is doing and promote it on their own simply through their passion.

Even those sites take a lot of time (and potentially money) to setup their success…and even then nothing is guaranteed.

It’s probably not what you wanted to hear, but it’s the truth. And it’s not a bad thing. There is a lot of opportunities to grow your site’s traffic. Some take lots of effort and time. Some take money. Some take little effort, little time, and no money.

Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to increase visitors (and quality visitors to your site)…

Before you start, check out the previous HBM articles tagged: Traffic

Spending Time

Depending on how much time you have to commit to your Web presence, there are lots of things that you can do today and continue doing for months and years that will grow your following.

Here is a list of a few of the ways:

Write Remarkable Content

It’s something that we all generally get tired of hearing, but sharing remarkable content is really what makes an impact on the Web. People on the Web like things that are interesting and make their lives more interesting or in other words they like things that make their lives more valuable – to them and to others in their lives. There’s a reason why Justin from @ShitMyDadSays (my apologies for the bad language) has over half a million followers on Twitter – his Dad says interesting things. It’s really that simple yet it’s really difficult to be interesting. But if you can be remarkable and interesting you’ll make an impact on the Web. Focus on what is interesting to your target visitors.

Comment on Other Blogs

One of the ways I’ve been able to generate some quality traffic is by commenting on other blogs. This can take some time as you learn what sites share your same target audience. It also takes time to actually read through hundreds of posts while you settle on just a few that will potentially be worth your time. Comment on those posts that have the most potential to return traffic to your site. Add value to the post you comment on – don’t waste their time.

For more see: How to Create Marketing Pull by Commenting on Other Blogs

Participate in Forums

Just like blog posting, participating in forums takes time, but can lead to lots of traffic for your Website. Just as with a blog, you get to leave your URL so those who find your comments in the forum interesting can find their way to your site by clicking on your username and finding your other remarkable content. It takes time, but it’s worth it if you target the correct forums.

For more see: How to Properly Use Forums

Internal Linking

One of the things that takes some time, but really is worth the time investment is internal linking. If you’ve been reading this post you’ve probably noticed that I’ve linked to a few posts as well as other areas on HBM. It’s not only a way to provide value to visitors by expanding on thoughts, but it increases page views and time spent on site per user.

External Linking

If you read the blog posts on HBM you’ll also notice that I link to at least three posts not on HBM. I also occasionally link to sites and posts throughout my own posts. This has been a great way to increase the traffic to my site for two reasons:

1| When you link to other blogs and sites the owner each particular blog and site often gets a notice of your link and they are often curious about who is linking to them. They check out your site and you have a potential reader

2| Most blogs have pingbacks or trackbacks. These blogs allow their readers to view who is linking to their post (it shows how popular their post is) and those readers have the option to click on your link. More traffic.

Link to posts that are relevant off your own site and start making valuable connections.

For more see: Make Every Post a Link Post

Guest Posting

New bloggers need to consider guest posting as a way to drive traffic. Most successful bloggers find their most growth as a result of guest posting. While it seems that you’d be giving away great content to other sites when you guest post, you’re actually borrowing the attention of other bloggers and interjecting your knowledge and interesting character to potential readers of your blog. Provide valuable content to other blogs and look to expand your audience.

For more see: Grow Your Followers like a Country Music Singer

Spending Money

Businesses that have sufficient budgets to gain quality traffic have many options for making an impact on the Web. Most programs on the Web that require payment can still stay within a smaller budget. The impact generally increases exponentially the more you are able to spend and reinvest as you gain sales.

Here are a few of the best ways to utilize your budget:

Ad Words

When it comes to advertising and getting quality return for your dollar, Google is always a good bet. Many businesses, in many areas of industry, have had success driving traffic and sales via Google AdWords. The program is very simple and has the biggest company and smartest individuals working to increase its effectiveness. You can spend as little or as much as you want.

Facebook Advertising

I’ve found success with Facebook Advertising. The technology has gotten more useful over time and I think they’re going in great directions with mining all of their immense user data. I found more success for driving traffic for a membership site similar to Facebook (free membership) than I have for driving sales or anything paid. Perhaps you will find more success.

For more see: How to Use Facebook Advertising (Subscribers Only – Join for $20)

StumbleUpon Advertising

I have never actually used StumbleUpon Advertising, but based on the success I’ve had with natural traffic via StumbleUpon (see below) I’m guessing it’s pretty impactful and beneficial. Check it out and let us know if you have success driving revenue and profit for your business.

Affiliates

There are many sites on the Web that are dedicated to driving traffic and driving sales for businesses that sell things via the Web. If you have something to sell, look into the technology available to develop an affiliate program (Commission Junction is one). It’s a good way to give up a little margin in return for more unit sales.

SEO Provider/Service

Sometimes paying to learn can be most beneficial for your specific business. It takes a certain person who is willing to take both the time and monetary investment to go out and participate in learning atmospheres. There are many SEO providers/services out there who will work for you to not only do your Paid Advertising and Natural Traffic for you, but they’ll teach you techniques that will benefit you in the long-term. Consider these as options if you’re willing to spend both time and money for long-term gain.

Contests

People are always looking for deals. If you have access to prizes, try a few contests as ways to get followers, sales, email addresses, etc.

Simple Changes

Some good news for you – there are things you can do to potentially increase your traffic right now that will potentially impact the number of people visiting your site, increase the time those individuals spend on your site, and increase the number of pages those individuals view per visit.

Here are a few of the simple things you can do now to increase your traffic:

Stumble Upon

One of the things I’ve had success with for one-off traffic is StumbleUpon. The traffic I’ve received from StumbleUpon has generally come fast once a page on the site has been stumbled and that traffic has lasted anywhere from about an hour up to about 24 hours. StumbleUpon and its users are very effective at choosing the best content on the Web per my observation. It’s generally my higher quality content that gets stumbled and also receives the most visits after being stumbled. I have also noticed that photos are something the users of StumbleUpon like to see. Almost all of the posts in the Flickr Creative Commons Series have had success with getting traffic via StumbleUpon.

For more details, please read: A Comprehensive Guide to StumbleUpon

Twitter

I use Twitter as a way to drive contests, traffic to posts, and other things. I also use Twitter to share the content of others. I try to share others’ content more than my own so I’m not spamming too much. Twitter takes some time and effort, but the return I’ve seen in connections alone would be well worth the investment. The monetary return I’ve seen has been an added bonus.

Join Twitter and look to make connections by adding value any way you can.

Improve Your Titles

Titles are important to driving traffic to your blog and site. The Cosmo Headline Strategy is a great way to write remarkable and eye-catching titles for your posts. Usually, someone’s first introduction to your site is a title on a search engine result or a title on someone’s site. Consider the things that will entice people to click while remembering that the title still has to be truthful in what your post will provide.

Write Content that Visitors can Scan

Web users love to scan content. There is so much content on the Web that people need to scan most of it before they decide if they will read your arguments on topics. Use headlines, sections and call-outs to make your content easy for people to scan. If your write strong lists and strong headings you’ll get people to stop and pay attention.

For more see: 42 Marketing Lists from The Future Buzz

Highlight Others

One of the most successful ways I’ve been able to make connections on the Web and thus drive traffic has been highlighting the success of others. When you participate in social media like Twitter or when you’re writing content for a blog post, write about how amazing and remarkable others are. Write about the folks who may be wanting for some attention and who are looking to make connections. Feed their appetites and see your traffic increase as the conversation about you spreads.

For more see: Highlight Others

More Resources on the Web

New Bloggers: Need Traffic?

25 Ways to Build Your Community

Ad Swaps: A Smart and Easy Way to Get Free Traffic

Related posts on Hunting Business Marketing

5 Simple Ways to Increase Traffic on Your Website

How to Drive Visitors Deep Into Your Website

The NFL Guide to Website Traffic

Related posts on the Web

Three simple actions that doubled my website traffic in 30 days

How to Find Readers for Your Blog

How I’d Promote My Blog If I Were Starting Out Again