Content Marketing: What is it and Why Use it?

There’s a lot of buzz going around about “content marketing.” Most people are slightly confused about what that really is, much less whether they should use it or not. In this episode of JemullyTV, I shed a little light on the concept of content marketing and what it might be able to do for you and your business.

14 Online Tools for Independent Musicians

Independent MusiciansI follow a good number of music blogs. It seems that bad news comes out of L.A. or Nashville on a weekly basis. The record labels are scrambling for ways to monetize their artists and sales of physical media are plummeting. Strangely though, sales of vinyl LP’s rose 10% last year, but that’s another blog post.

As I’ve mentioned on previous posts, the tools available online to independent musicians are quickly making the labels obsolete in many areas. I wish I’d had these resources available when I worked in the industry. So, here’s a quick overview of some of those tools. This is not an exhaustive review, but it’s a good starting point.

If you are an artist or a member of a band and have not made use of at least a few of these resources, you are missing the boat my friend.

1. Discmakers. I have already done a review of these guys and I still think they are a great tool. You can read it here.
Discmakers.com

2. CD Baby. These guys have been around a long time and are very good at what they do, which is being your very own personal distribution system. You supply them with a few copies of your new CD and they will make it available all over the place. They will sell the CD’s for you as well as distribute them into all the major online sales forums like iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, etc. They’ll also get your music inserted into the various streaming sites, e.g. Spotify and others. They offer other package deals and services as well. Highly recommended.
CDBaby.com

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Here’s a Good iGoogle Alternative

I’ve been a faithful user of iGoogle for a long time. It’s been my home page through several different browsers.

And now it’s going away.

Some of you may ask, “what is iGoogle?” Never mind. It’s going away. For those of you who used it and are looking for something to replace it when Google pulls the plug next year, I’ve found something I really like. For those of you who have no clue, let me ‘splain, Lucy.

iGoogle is a user-definable homepage that Google offers. It aggregates the RSS feeds from wherever you’d like. For instance, on my iGoogle page, I have three columns. Gmail is in the upper left, followed by three different Tech blogs. The middle column is local weather, headlines, Mashable, and 3 different bloggers. The far right column starts with Fox News (appropriate, eh?) and then entertainment news, People.com and 3 different music-related blogs. In one quick look I get the headlines from all the areas in which I have interest. That’s great, except that Google has made the cock-eyed decision to discontinue the service in 2013. No one seems to know why. In my opinion (and many others as well), it’s a dumb move.

NetVibes.comIn a few quick searches this afternoon, I could see that the Internet is alive with many people asking about a good alternative to iGoogle. I believe I have landed on NetVibes.com. NetVibes does everything that iGoogle did, but on a much larger scale. You can see on the picture here (click it for a larger version) that it offers a ton of information on one screen. Here you see my Technology homepage (yes, I know Mashable is not necessarily a tech site. I’m still configuring). Notice across the top that there are tabs for different categories. All of this is configurable to your hearts delight.

I can easily add new categories (tabs) and new sections within each category. It was extremely simple to add new stuff. I didn’t even need to know the actual URL for the RSS or Atom feed. I just entered the website or even just the name and it found it for me automatically.

The look is entirely configurable as well. What you see here is the basic list feed. You can go even more simpler than this and do the “reader” version. Or you can do more. They offer layouts from magazine-styled all the way to news tickers. It’s really pretty cool. And the best news? The basic version is FREE.

If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to go running all over the Internet to find the information you want, NetVibes.com is a great option. If I had known about this earlier, iGoogle would have been gone already. Now I see why they decided to discontinue it. And it actually surprises me that Google hasn’t bought them out.

How does it look to you?

7 Reasons You Need To Be Involved In Web Marketing

Here is the premiere episode of Jemully TV… sort of our “maiden voyage” without the accompanying sunken ship. Our plans are to produce a new episode every couple of weeks.

Episode 1 focuses on 7 Reasons You Need To Be Involved In Web Marketing. If your business or organization is not actively marketing online, you may be heading for that proverbial sunken ship syndrome yourself. Watch this 8-minute video and see what I’m talking about.

20 Search Tips That Make You a Google Ninja

Not all of us can be real ninjas, but with these tricks you can be just as amazing with your searches. Google provides a wide array of options for modifying your searches. They make it very easy to drill right down to what your needing without a lot of extraneous fluff.

The official term is Boolean search. I like Ninja Hunt better. Walk through these 20 slides and be prepared to take notes. Or come back and see it again. It will change your online experience.

Interactive graphic created by OnlinePhD.org

What’s a Jemully?

Jemully MediaI have no idea, but I’m working for it.

As I’ve mentioned in passing on a post or two, Moyers Design has joined forces with an Abilene-based company called Jemully Media. Jemully is actually a division of a larger company called Tolar Systems, but let’s not get all confused at this point.

Kit Mullins and Lance Tolar are the head of Jemully Media and they have assembled a fabulous staff of writers, designers and coders. It’s a great team of creatives.

So what do we do? Anything that has to do with helping your business grow through online marketing. Things such as:

  • Website Design
  • Copywriting
  • Editing
  • Online Advertising
  • Social Media Marketing & Management
  • Email Marketing
  • Google Analytics…

And the list could go on and on. I’m excited to be a part of Jemully Media for several reasons. They are doing the work that I was doing with Moyers Design, only now we have a full staff of brilliant, creative people to make it even bigger, better and faster. It’s no longer just little old me pulling the strings.

Also, I get the opportunity to open a presence for Jemully Media in the Lubbock area. I’ll be working the High Plains of Texas as well as national accounts.

If your company or organization is in need of a new website or an increased social media presence, please get in touch with us. Even if you’ve recently had a new site designed for you, let us give you a free Site Audit. We’ll let you know how well it was done and maybe suggest ways to help you take the next step when you’re ready.

Our goal: web development and social media made easy. You’ve got a job to do. Let us help you with the heavy lifting.

There’s more to come. I’ll be starting a video podcast soon with some helpful information for your (hopefully) growing online presence. Until then, leave me a comment below and let me know what your greatest challenge is regarding online marketing. An outdated website with challenges keeping it current? Sticking with Twitter? Figuring out how to use Facebook for all it’s worth? Let me know and I’ll post more info!

Is Twitter Worth the Time?

Twitter bubblesI was sitting with some friends yesterday discussing their new website and strategies for increasing their online presence. We discussed the usual suspects and, of course, Twitter came up in the conversation.

Their response was typical, “I don’t get Twitter. Why should I use it?” If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard that, I’d have a stinkin’ load of dimes.

I am no Twitter expert, but I can share what I’ve learned. LIke most everyone else, I joined Twitter and wondered the same thing. What was the purpose of Twitter? What do you say? Over time, I’ve gained a bit of an understanding.

Twitter has many uses and many different end results. As I’ve started following people, it seems to me that the main purpose of Twitter is marketing, be it full-blown intentional marketing campaigns or something as simple as a slightly narcissistic interest in talking about what your doing. I don’t say this as a negative thing, merely an attempt to explain the “psychology” behind Twitter use.

There are a few Twitterers out there who go against the flow, so to speak. I’ve seen a few who do nothing more than follow hundreds of people and say nothing. I compare these people to my mother who used to go to the mall just to sit and watch people. For the majority, the goal is to gain followers.

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Why Every Entrepreneur Should Self-Publish a Book

write a bookI have always been interested in publishing a book. Even in my early days as an artist, I flirted with writing. I remember 1990. I had finished writing my first “professional” song and pitched it to Keith Lancaster for possible inclusion on a new project we were starting. After listening, he replied that maybe I should try another one.

Rejection.

After consideration, my response was, “I think I’ll try my hand at writing a book instead.” He said he really thought I ought to give it another shot. So, I spent the next several days giving it one more shot. The end result was the song “Drop in the  Bucket” which wound up on the first Acappella Children’s album. Songwriting had begun. At this point, I have over 80 songs registered with BMI, but I’ve never gotten back to that book.

Which is why I find this article by James Altucher interesting. As with the music industry, the book publishing industry has changed considerably with the advent of the Internet. In his Techcrunch article Why Every Entrepreneur Should Self-Publish a Book, James presents a very strong argument for jumping in feet first and doing it yourself.

I reprint it here in edited format. Enjoy.

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Google Chrome Fail – Pt.2

Google and Chrome Fail again

Ok Google, you’re killing me here. I am trying to get everything I do online to be Google-oriented so that syncing things up will be a breeze. I am sticking with you because I had being doing this long before I bought into Apple products – which would offer the same services for me. Alas, I am heavily invested into all things Google, so I stay with you for now (which incidentally is why I bought a new iPhone… I was too deep into apps to choose otherwise).

But why, oh why, do I continue to have troubles using Chrome (your product) and Gmail (your product) together? About a third of the time it hangs up. Sometimes it just sits there with a blank page looking at me (see earlier post). And today, you tell me you don’t trust yourself? So what am I supposed to take away from that?

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5 Tips for Effective Facebook Marketing and Content

As I continue to study and immerse myself into social media, I’ve picked up several very good recommendations on making social media marketing work for you. The landscape is constantly changing and marketing solutions change with them. I am concentrating on techniques that are broad in their application and should (hopefully) continue to work amidst the changes. With a shout-out to Hootsuite University, here are five great techniques for creating effective Facebook marketing and content.

Your Content Must Tell a Story

If someone comes to your page, they are obviously displaying a base-level interest. The root of our social media experience, perceived or not, is driven by our own self interests. Consequently, your content must tell the story of how your products and services interact with your customer’s lives. To catch someones attention and keep it, you must offer more than personal blurbs about your lack of sleep, or how much you dislike the current team that made the playoffs. Your posts must appeal to your readers, even if minimally, in a way that demonstrates a connection to what you have and what they want (or might wish for).

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