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July Newsletter: Canada Day

By Cheval John

Social media has reminded us of how connected we are in the world.

We are more aware of what is happening due to social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Since today is July 1st, I want to wish my friends a happy canada day as they are celebrating 150 years as a nation.

I also want to start this newsletter with the news of being named a Houston Top 25 Social Media Power Influencer for the second consecutive year.

It was through hard work and consistently providing value to my audience that allowed me to join fellow social media colleagues in the fourth largest city in the United States on this list.

Another milestone was having the opportunity to speak yesterday at Social Media Day Houston about why business owners should embrace live streaming.

The event occurred simultaneously with other events surrounding Social Media Day which started in 2010 by Mashable.

Thank you all for your support and here are the articles for this month’s newsletter starting off with the Houston Top 25 Social Media Power Influencer’s List

Houston’s Top 25 Social Media Power Influencers-Madalyn Sklar

Jill Castilla: Social media is an opportunity to humanize big banks-Staff from Tearsheet

How to Travel & Make Money?-Codie Sanchez, Speaker and Investor

B2B Social Media Influencers: A Conversation with Tamara McCleary-Carter Hostelley of LeadTail

3 Steps to Get Your Sales Team Onboard with Social Selling-Miri Rodriguez, Senior Social Media and Communities Lead for Microsoft

Attending The Best Conference In The Midwest

By Cheval John

I had mentioned last week I was going to write about how the Houston Texans Cheerleaders won national attention after their first annual #htcpicnic.

I have not written the post yet and I am sorry about that.

The reason why was I spoke as a panelist at Social Media Week Lima for most of this week.

The conference was held in Lima, Ohio and hosted by Now Marketing Group.

I shared on my show, What’s The Word? about what I learned from social media week lima and why business owners or anyone who are looking at putting together a conference should follow the example of Now Marketing Group.

Hope you enjoy the podcast.

Do Not Worry About The Sales Pitch

By Cheval John

You are very excited when a lot of people are reading your blog on a daily basis.

That motivates you to continue providing uplifting content to your audience.

Though your blog is getting a lot of views and bringing people to your website, you notice you are not making a lot of money.

You are wondering why isn’t this blog converting readers into potential customers.

Your first thought is trying out different tactics which will bring people to your business blog.

One of the tactics is pushing out your content to different social media platforms hoping to win new business.

That fails to work because consumers are more keen to see who cares about them.

You realize you must interact with your audience on a daily basis on the different social media platforms.

Though the above always works, you have not seen the results of converting your fans into customers yet.

I can tell you to keep on building your audience on the social media platforms.

You must also understand having an e-mail list is the most effective way to convert your fans into customers.

Your blog’s e-mail lists is your real estate.

When someone decides to join your e-mail list, you have a higher chance of winning new clients for your business.

The ways how you can build your e-mail list is providing value consistently with your business blog.

Also, you can embed educational videos or podcast which applies to the industry your business is apart of.

Like the podcast I embedded here from my show.

The biggest mistake you can make when building your e-mail list is having pop-ups.

Pop-ups is like spam.

When someone is reading your blog post and all of a sudden a pop-up appears, it basically distracts the viewer.

They are in the middle of consuming your content which is solving their pain point.

When blogs engage in installing pop-ups in their website, they are truly saying we are not confident our content will help you and we need to use these tactics to get a subscriber.

If you are starting a blog for the first time, never use any type of pop-up system even if many are telling you otherwise.

If you do win over a new e-mail subscriber, do not bombard them with sales pitches in every e-mail.

They will be turned off by your spammy sales pitches and opt out of your e-mail list.

Your must have confidence in your blog content and not worry about the sales pitch

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

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.

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.