Archive | May 2017

Is Blogging Still Worth It?

By Cheval John

May 24th, 2017

You might be wondering if it’s worth it to have a blog after seeing these stats

There are over a billion websites in the world- Internet Live Stats

About 2.7 million blog posts are published everyday-Hosting Facts.com

The answer is yes because your blog is the home base for your website

Here are more stats about blogs:

Websites with a blog have tend to have 434% more indexed pages-Impact

43% of marketers who work for business to business tells everyone that blogging is very important for their companies-Social Media Examiner

81% of businesses consider their blogs to be an important asset to their businesses.-Search Engine Journal

Out of the millions and millions of blogs, the top hosting sites for blogs are Tumblir and WordPress (WP).

Though Tumblir host 175 million blogs, I am honestly not a fan of the platform.

WP hosts 75.8 million blogs in the world.

You might not know that WordPress has two different platforms for blogs.

There is WordPress.com, the free hosting site, and WordPress.org, the self-hosting software.

Before we get into the details of WordPress.com and WordPress.org, I want to chat about another hosting site that emerged over the last few years: Medium.

Medium was created in 2012 by Evan Williams, one of the co-founders of Twitter.

The vision for Medium was to create long form content in the manner people could express themselves more since Twitter has a 140 character limit.

People who creates an account on Medium via Twitter or Facebook will automatically increase their audience depending on the number of followers on either platform.

For example, Rachel Rofe, who is the author of 50 plus books, created her Twitter account in 2007 and built a strong community.

When Rachel started using Medium in 2014, almost 1/3 of her Twitter audience “followed” her to the blogging platform

This is an advantage for those who are looking to start blogging for the first time.

And you also keep the blog content according to the people at Medium.

With the above being said, here are the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

Pros of WordPress.com:

It is free

You can interact with fellow bloggers on the platform and build a community

Your blog could be discovered

Cons of WordPress.com:

You have limited features which can hinder you from expanding your blog

Pros of WordPress.org

You have access to the plugins which can improve your website

You can design the website which fits your business

The website is yours forever

Cons of WordPress.org

You have to pay a hosting company to run your website

In reality, it is not a con because they are hosting companies which are compatible with WordPress.org and are very affordable for small businesses.

The two hosting companies I highly recommend for hosting your website using WordPress.org are
Blue Host and Host Gator.

(Disclaimer: I use host gator for my business blog and I am not getting a commission at all.)

If you have to choose between wordpress.com and wordpress.org if you are planning to start a blog, I would select the latter.

When you built an audience over the years using wordpress.com and you want to switch to a self-hosted site using wordpress.org, you will end up “losing” the total number of views for your blog.

It will also cost you between $129-$200 to transfer your content from wordpress.com to wordpress.org.

I started this blog on wordpress.com in 2011 while simultaneously blogging for the collegiate newspaper and myself during my time in graduate school.

When I was placed on probation from graduate school, I decided to buy the domain name and upgrade the blog to vallanomedia.com using wordpress.com in January of 2012.

A couple days later, I formed the company as an llc and continued to blog about sports, travel and current events.

After looking at articles from experts like Nathalie Lussier regarding blogging platforms, I knew I had to switch my site over to wordpress.org.

So on October 1, 2012, I paid around $140 to switch my blog over to wordpress.org.

I had no idea at the time I was going to “lose” over 3,900 total viewership I built before switching from wordpress.com.

In conclusion, I want to add having a blog is important because it is your main real estate.

The social media platforms are just rented land.

If you want to build your business via blogging, you must do your research on which platform is right for you.

Here is a quote from Sonia Gregory, Owner and Creative Director of FreshSparks, which sums up the importance of having a blog:

“A blog is an opportunity to shake hands and introduce yourself. You can gain a reader’s trust through quality content.”

Are you planning on starting a blog? You can leave your comments below.

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Does Not Hurt To Be Wrong

By Cheval John

I don’t have any posts this week about social media or live streaming.

However, I will chat about something else many people are afraid of.

Being wrong.

What I mean is many of us always want to be right.

We see a lot of predictions of where social media is going in the next couple of years.

Or which social media platform will be around.

Some thought that Vine would be around for a while because they were one of the first to jump start the live streaming revolution.

We even thought that Facebook was going to be a second class social media platform because they implemented their program to where you pay in order to boost your post.

Look at facebook now as they are continuing to dominate the social media scene especially with live video.

This leads to what I am chatting about in being wrong with predictions.

I made predictions over the years that turned out to be wrong.

People made fun of me for my wrong predictions that they called it the “Chevy Curse”

I keep on making some predictions surrounding a sporting event because sometimes they come to pass.

In this case, I have made a bet on myself on being a full time entrepreneur.

I am believing that things will be well with the business because I have learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way.

I understand that there is no such thing as over night success in building a business.

Yet many want to believe that when they start a business they will become profitable or even rich quickly.

The above will happen only if they experienced failure in their first business and learned valuable lessons.

Some might call us insane because we have not seen money rolling in despite years of hard work.

They will tell us to get a real work at a company.

They are the same ones who are miserable working at a 9-5 corporation.

I will tell that I am not afraid to be wrong in believing that my business will succeed because I know I am trying something new in being an entrepreneur.

I faced a situation when I started college late and wondered if I will ever graduate.

I worked hard in order to attain my college degrees from Lone Star College and Sam Houston State University.

That same tenacity will propel me towards achieving profitability this year which will take my business to the next level.

Even if people tell me I am crazy, I will continue to air my podcast every Tuesday, publish my blog on Wednesdays and participate in Twitter chats despite not seeing the positive results yet.

I rather be insane in doing the above than waste time in work that does not fulfill my destiny as a business owner.

Do you agree or disagree with this post? You can leave your comments below.

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What Is Stopping You From Live Streaming?

By Cheval John

May 10th, 2017

Social media is a mechanism for business owners and companies to connect with their potential audience.

Many see it as a platform for free advertising.

So they self-promote their events or services hoping people will buy from them.

While others place all of their focus on building their business on the different social media platforms.

They don’t understand that the different social media platforms belongs to the owners who created them.

When they put all of their eggs in one basket (in this case, a social media platform), they end up losing their client base in the long run.

That’s why many scrambled to regain their audience when vine shutdown earlier this year.

Another example is when Facebook changed their algorithms which decreased the organic views of each post a couple of years ago.

Business owners now have to pay for facebook ads in order to regain the audience and make money.

I am not an expert on boosted posts on facebook, which I did try out their ads on my business page and got some likes from people I did not know pertaining to my previous articles here.

What I do know is that live streaming is an important avenue for businesses to get their message out to a prospective customer.

Facebook entered the live streaming matchup in 2015 when they allowed celebrities and public figures access to this new video on demand as a test run to see if live streaming would work for them.

When they saw the positive results of live streaming, they decided to allow everyone to have access to facebook live in early 2016.

YouTube was ahead of the video revolution when the platform was created in 2005.

The platform allowed anyone to upload videos of their cats surfing, cover songs of famous artists, even their reaction to a home run at a baseball matchup, or highlights from a collegiate softball game.

YouTube decided to enter the live stream market between 2015 and 2017 and allow anyone to showcase a news program or sporting events that is occurring.

I found out about the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) when they live streamed the playoffs on their YouTube channel.

The CWHL has been around for 10 years and it took a live streaming show to discover talented women who are professional hockey players.

You might be wondering which one of the platforms is right for you if you are considering live streaming for business.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing between Facebook Live and YouTube

Facebook:

This platform has 1.9 billion users

You can broadcast your live streams to your friends, family, group page and fans who liked your business page, respectively

The live videos is very personable

You can live stream from your mobile phones

A person can now broadcast their live streams from their own computer

YouTube:

The social media service has over a 1 billion users

It is the largest video website in the world

Google, the world largest search engine website, owns YouTube

You can become an “expert” over time with educational videos which solves a pain point for your audience

So you have seen the difference between Facebook Live and YouTube.

Both facebook and youtube are working on allowing two or more people to live stream at the same time.

Here are some video platforms that will allow multiple people to simulcast to facebook live or youtube from your computer

Blue Jeans Network:

Their on social platform allows you to simulcast to facebook live

Zoom:

Allows you to simulcast to either Facebook Live or YouTube.

A side note: You would have to buy their Pro plan at $14.99 a month before you can upgrade to the webinar platform for $40 more.

Crowdcast.io

This live video service recently launched the multi-stream software that allows you to simulcast to either facebook live, youtube or periscope.

You would have to put in the API key in order to simulcast to either platforms

Wirecast

This is a live streaming software of telestream which allows you to simulcast to facebook live, periscope and even youtube

Now you have seen the options which can help you to live stream for your business.

The only question is:

“What is stopping you from live streaming?”

You can leave your comment below.

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Returning To Business As Usual

By Cheval John

I started my podcast What’s The Word? on BlogTalkRadio in 2013 and knew this was going to be a fun journey in interviewing successful people.

Four years later, I achieved a milestone with the 300th episode of the show with the guest of honor Heather Havenwood last Saturday.


I went back to business as usual with yesterday’s airing of the show with guest D.J. Ramirez, social media coordinator of BMC Software.

One of the important traits of an entrepreneur is learning how to pivot your business model that serves a customers need.

I saw the importance of live streaming for podcasters in mid-2015

I would not have ever considered live streaming as an option for recording my podcast because at the time, a person could only use a smartphone.

Then I received a message about this new platform called blab.beta.

They wanted to have a group discussion about our thoughts on attending Podcast Movement which was held in Fort Worth.

At first, I did not understand the platform when it was not working on my side of the computer.

I would have given up on blab had it not been for the trio of Rachel Miller, Brian Fanzo and Christin Kardos, who had switched their #bizhour twitter chat to blab.

I was convinced about blab being a great platform to record a podcast after finding out they saved the live stream in both audio and video format.

Blab.beta changed my mind as their live streaming platform was only for computers.

So I started using blab for live streaming my podcast and it was a blessing and a curse.

The blessing part of using blab was meeting awesome live streamers like Victoria Taylor, Jennifer Hoverstad, Ross Brand, Vicki Fitch, Chris Strub and Jennifer Quinn.

And “meeting” people on video like Rebekah Radice, Kami Huyse and Kelly Hungerford from the years of chatting on social media.

The curse part of using blab was their platform was unstable and I had to worry about whether their technology would stay up during the live streams.

The executives of blab decided that developing their platform was not worth it anymore.

So they shut it down abruptly in August of 2016.

Before that, many live streamers decided to pursue other platforms because they saw the writing on the wall that blab was disappearing.

Plus, Facebook launched live video on their platform in early 2016.

As many of us were getting used to facebook live, were were wondering how we can do a two-person or more show there.

Two prominent live streamers, Mitch Jackson and Mrs. Hoverstad, mentioned about how huzza.io was a great platform.

So I decided to use huzza.io for my podcast recording because they had the capabilities to simulcast to facebook live.

A couple of months later, Blue Jeans Network launched their software “on social” feature which allows you to simulcast to facebook live with multiple people on the same platform.

As I decided to try out blue jeans network’s trial run, I continued to use huzza.io, believing they would still be around.

Then, the founders announced they sold huzza.io to kickstarter in February of this year.

I knew that blue jeans network was THE platform for me to continue recording my podcast via live streaming to facebook live.

Blue Jeans Network is so simple to use because you have the option to simulcast your “meetings” to facebook live or record the same meeting for people who could not attend.

This platform is a lot like blab with the biggest difference being they are very stable.

Mr. Jackson and Mrs. Hoverstad now uses blue jeans network to simulcast theshow.live to facebook.

In a lot of ways, blue jeans network is a perfect fit for live streaming what’s the word? to facebook live.

Plus, many people within my community on my business page on facebook, got the opportunity to see the live recording of the 300th episode of my podcast.

I was very happy that Ms. Havenwood was the guest because I found out through Winnie Sun, she uses blue jeans network as well for her podcast recordings.

As I close out this post, here are the most important lessons entrepreneurs must apply to their business:

1. They must know when to pivot their business.

The above can happen with the help of a business coach and also feedback from your customers.

2. They are many ways to skin a cat

The above saying means there are multiple options in getting your message out to your desired customer base.

Live streaming, blogging, webinars, podcasting, etc. are the mechanisms to build your potential customer base.

3. You must follow the trends that is happening in your business industry.

This is reserve for the podcasters within any sector of the market.

Just because your podcast is serving your purpose does not mean you should be closed minded to other ways to get your message out.

You can live stream your podcast recording to your followers on facebook to build a deeper bond with your loyal listeners because you will gain some new fans as well because they were apart of the recording process of your podcast.

As for me, I will continue to produce more quality shows using blue jeans network in order to take my business to the next level.

Plus, I will continue to use blogtalkradio to air those same recordings.

Both of those platforms are the parts I need to continue to build my business blog as well via podcasting.

How are you moving your business forward?

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Newsletter For May 1st

By Cheval John

If time was made of 💰, would you spend it wisely? To the majority, time is not well spent because they are doing work that they hate only because they have to pay the bills or provide for their family. Nothing is wrong with the above. However, they bring their bitterness and misery of their work to their personal lives and it affects their relationships with their friends and families. The truth is if we spend out time wisely in doing the work that we love, our personal lives will be much more joyful. Even if it will take years to build the business that fulfills your dreams while you are in the work that you hate, at least you will feel much better about yourself because you woken up from the slumber of the 9-5 work week. #entrepreneurship #fulfilling #goals #businessofone #train #station #socialmedia #VallanoMedia

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As we are entering a new month, here are some articles that will give you some insights about entrepreneurship and putting together a content marketing strategy.

Your Advice Is Valuable — Don’t Give It Away For Free-Liz Ryan of Human Workplace

4 Instagress Alternatives That Won’t Leave You-Lisa Kalner Williams of Agorapulse

The $999 SlingStudio makes it easy to produce multi-camera Facebook Live and YouTube streams-TechCrunch.com

Creating future self-made social media professionals-Dr. Karen Freberg

The death of 9-5: millennials and flexible work schedule-Lindsey Patterson

Why You Need a Content Marketing Strategy for Your Business-Christina Ochea of The Social Butterfly Gal

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