Social media management essentials for Instagram

My Instagram account passed 1,000 followers in the wee hours of this morning.

I don’t say this to brag, but to highlight that my target has been achieved. This was set out in my Instagram experiment, which I started 14 days ago.

The aim of the experiment is to find out if Instagram is worthy of social media investment. In short, I think it is.

How has this been done?

  • No followers or likes have been bought, I have noticed that some others do employ this tactic but I think it’s something that can hurt in the long term.
  • Very high quality content has been produced that is aligned to my natural skills.
  • Real comments made on influential accounts.
  • Following accounts that resonate with the content I have produced.
  • Strategic linking with other social media accounts, which syncs with my overall content marketing strategy.
  • Have real conversations with people who have influential accounts.
  • Like and follow other accounts that resonate with the content marketing strategy.
  • Defollow those accounts who turn out not to be fruitful.

These essentials can be applied to most social media efforts. Basically it’s produce great content, be yourself, talk to people and help others.

Simple really.

The benefits have been:

  • Increased traffic to my site
  • Increased email subscribers (due also to offering a quick and easy report to download)
  • Connections built with influential people with established followings
  • Ideas generated simply by observing more closely what works and what doesn’t on a new social media platform
  • Content created specifically for Instagram can be used elsewhere and possibly to build links (going to experiment with building links with my graphical quotes this week)

People who have never conducted any Instagram experiment tell me it only works for specific things, like selfies, makeup, food… etc. But I have found this not to be true and discovered countless cases of people making it work for them in niches such as laundry, dentistry, currency exchange and so on. I will cover these case studies in a future post.

It comes back to what I always tell the people I coach; it’s about communication and persuasion. Social media platforms are simply mechanical devices to allow this to happen. You can use any system which helps you reach the crowd to market your brand, products and services, it’s simply down to decoding the means to be successful and doing it.

There is the issue of ROI of course, but the effort I have got to where I am in a couple of weeks is minimal, partly because I have done this a number of times before with other social media platforms and similar techniques and attitudes work across different platforms.

The bad news is that is may not be as easy for you. This is after all my job and I spend a lot of time thinking about the issues and have had years of experience. I am prepared to take on a few clients to help them boost their Instagram efforts though, which allows you to go about building your business and allow my experience and skill to help you with your social.

Get in contact if you wish to get help with your current social media management.

Where to get content ideas for your blog

Content idea

I have now joined the team at which is a service supplying you with great blog post ideas.

Talking to many content clients over the years, coming up with great ideas is usually the first place people get stuck. There is a number of processes to go through when creating content of course and as it has got harder and harder to get attention and engage these days, every little helps.

Where the service really helps is that it keeps supplying content ideas, once you use up your natural reservoir of ideas things get tough. You can of course get in the mindset to be able to be an idea machine, but wouldn’t you rather be working on your business or speeding up the content creation process?

The current price is at an introductory level and will rise as the service fills, I suggest you get in whilst it is still new and hungry for subscribers.

Get ideas for your blog posts and content.

Create Great Content Ask for a Link Be Nice

Yesterday I wrote a post that got carried on, which was very nice of them. Thanks.

It was titled. Have you Tried Asking for a Link and I talked about that fact that sometimes you simply has to ask. However, to be clear and I have had a few emails about this. The post said that you could “Just nicely ask for a link, using your own words in a real way and ask for a link to something good.”

As I find people tend not to ask the right way for a link and others do not ask at all.

The post goes on to say, “I will give you a link for free, from an authority blog, just give me something to link to, ask nice and make me think you will do something nice back in the future.”

Of course, some thought all they needed to do was to ask for a link and they would get one. And that “something”, meant anything. I clearly stated that I wanted to “link to something good”, meaning it has to be good enough to link to.

Perhaps I was not clear as I should have been, and should have outlined what “something good” actually meant as not everyone creates content for links. In my world, “something good” means a specific level of quality. Quality of communication, quality of attractiveness etc.

And so when I got several of the emails asking for link this morning, a few of them didn’t get it. So I wrote an open letter to those people to save time.

Thanks for that [NAME WITHHELD], appreciate it.

Yes I have had a lot of requests.

The point of the “ask for a link”, article is about asking nicely and in a human way. Just asking me after saying hi is missing the point.

Although I do note that you have helped me with pointing out the error on the email link, although I have had plenty of emails this morning, I’m not really that hard to contact.

Would you give a link simply because someone asked?
Of course not, it wouldn’t be good practice.

You need to have something, a piece of linkable content you want to be linked to, I need a reason to link, something specific or something interesting. As I wrote in the article.

It can’t be just the fact that you have a website there has to be a reason for me to link to the website. Something of merit, something to be cited, something different. The whole reason I have links on my blog is to help the reader, either giving them more context or allowing them to explore the subject further. A link has to be of value to the reader within the context of the blog and the blog post.

Obviously people buy links, you cannot buy links on my website, but you can on others and when that happens it is sometimes blatantly obvious, because there is no context to the link being given or that the content being linked to is not worth being linked to. And if a website exhibits a pattern of bought and sold links and Google finds out, Google may ban them.

I don’t want my website to have the hint of bought and sold links because I don’t want my website banned. Not that linking to your website would get my website banned. I just need a reason to link, as I stated in my blog post.

Of course I can give out a non paid link that is not entirely contextual to prove a point, for example the Blue Bar at Porthtowan beach, where I am often found. OK, this is not entirely non-contextual as it’s a place that I love and go to regularly.

But you see the point about simply dropping in links with no context? There has to be a reason to link.

If you want me to further analyse your request further, it didn’t leave me feeling that you were going to do something nice in the future. It simply told me that you saw the request (not sure you read the article) and thought you simply had to ask.

This is not the point of the article, it’s not the correct methodology for effective outreach and it certainly isn’t a nice way for human beings to communicate.

If you are in a pub for example and someone comes up to you and says, “Hi, I’m John, hope you had a great holiday. Your laces are undone. £50 please”.

It’s probably not going to be effective.

And this is the point of the article.

Not that you simply have to ask, using as few words as possible. But that you actually have to connect with another human being and treat them better than a cynical way to get a link.

Don’t get me wrong, my verbose reply is not indicative as anger or even annoyance. It’s more about frustration that opportunities are being lost, simply because people do not connect with others effectively over the Internet.

I don’t say “connect properly“, as that is subjective. I mean “effectively“, as in getting to achieve your goal.

It’s very clear what works in link building and what does not. No one wants to be taken advantage of or thought of as an idiot who will link to anyone.

People tend to link to people who they like, they do not link to websites but to people, as I have said in my blog and at numerous conference talks.

You can clearly see this human effect in action after a conference when people who have met people and like them, link to their blogs afterwards when they would not have linked to them when based just on the website.

Going to conferences and being liked is the best link building technique I have seen. I say “technique” tongue in cheek, because it’s not. It’s a way of being.

And yes, I suppose some people think it tiresome to actually interact with people you have zero interest in, but this is the point. People can easily sense that, even emails have an odour.

The solution is simply to be nice. Take the time, be genuine have something real to share.

This of course takes time, and if you can get away with a quick ask, job done. I totally understand why someone would knock out a crafty email link request between a mocha.

But knocking out a crafty one was not the point of the article.

Being effective by being nice was.

Link building should be looked upon as a tribal act. Look how the tribe of Moz acts, totally tribal. Look how Buzzfeed acts, they feed their tribe daily.

I wont tell you that link building is easy, you have to really work at it. But you have to work harder if you see it as a vending machine, or a cash point machine. Gone are the days of the push linker and I am old enough to remember those days. They were fun times. But it’s better now because great content can now give you a reason to properly ask for links.

My goal is to teach people the effective way of doing things, that was the point of the “Link offer”, blog post and this is the point of this blog post.

Thanks for taking the time to email and reading my blog post. If you do have great piece of content to share with my readers, please do not hesitate to contact and if the content works, and if your website is cool and if you are not a horrible person and if you [Insert here all the obvious stuff that most with a basic understanding of SEO understand] then I will drop you a tasty, contextual link.

Lyndon Antcliff

Too Zen? I don’t think so, this is about what works and what does not work.

It is the sound of a link being built to an idea that does not yet exist.

Have you tried asking for a link

Just nicely ask for a link, using your own words in a real way and ask for a link to something good. It’s a controversial statement I know judging from my email inbox and what doesn’t get talked about on Twitter.

I think I have a pathological aversion to cut and paste emails and cookie cutter content.

I get emails stating, “we are quaility link builders”, good because I always have people looking for those and I am quite liberal in linking out from my own blogs.

But the emails are obviously not written by the sender, but by some dry, crunchy assed, baked in the sun so long it has bleached their soul, copywriter.

I can’t read those emails without feeling my brain trying to escape through my ear.

But I want to link.

I even want to buy links.

Why not talk to me like a Human Being?

I prefer to get links without asking, by crawling inside your head and working the levers mostly. But when I do ask, it is I who am asking, using my own words and sending each request out individually.

Even if it means bleeding into the keyboard, I send link requests out manually.

I will give you a link for free, from an authority blog, just give me something to link to, ask nice and make me think you will do something nice back in the future.

You don’t even have to do a nice thing for me, you only have to make me think you will do a nice thing.

Why SEO Training for Beginners is still needed

School Bus

Admit it.

Do you always roll your eyes when an SEO blogger starts with something like, “I’ve been building websites since….”

I used to, I don’t now.

Because that long view is incredibly valuable, offset of course by dissipation of hunger and passion and a reduction of energy.
I will leave for another blog post, just why it’s valuable to have a couple of grey beards hanging with the 20 something hipster types that form the bulk of people doing SEO.

I’ve been building websites and getting them ranked since 1998, of course this only means something if you keep current.

If an SEO sales person says any of the following. you should kick them out of the door.

  • Your website needs keyword Meta tags
  • You need to nofollow every external link
  • We can submit your website to search engines and not just Google but 1000’s of others
  • You need to have a 2.4% (or any number) of keyword density on your page
  • I’m expert in this great piece of software that can generate 200 links a day on forums

and for more check out the links below.

Yes I realise some of my black hat friends will tell me some of this stuff still works (I wont tell you which) for throwaway websites, but this blog is about helping long term, branded websites get ranked, and a blackhat technique, whilst still valid in certain situations is not valid here.

When you look at something as simple as internal link structure and sites that use drop down menus to facilitate a good flow of link equity with correct anchor text, you notice a lot of sites get this basic stuff wrong, something that,, and the get right. To give just a few examples. It’s interesting to take a random look at a bunch of websites and see who is implementing best practice design and SEO and who is not.

Now I am not saying that for a website to rank it has to have a drop down menu structure that has correct anchor text. But it sure does help and I would argue that for a relatively cheap win a website should look at being designed around this structure. Personally as a user of websites, I love the drop down menu, perhaps a usability expert such as Kim Krause Berg could tell us the impact on usability with this technique.

Even after all this time, certain techniques that died out nearly 10 years ago are still being promoted by people in the industry. I put this down to a mix of laziness and the fact they can get away with it. It’s not the buyers fault of course, but due diligence needs to be done. There are still plenty of SEO sharks out there and you don’t want to become bait.

Training and education are essential to anyone performing SEO and it’s not about reading one book or taking one course, because you need to learn to differentiate between the silver tongued devils telling you the garbage in the above list, compared with the gold in the link below. You need time and a number of occurrences before you can accurately differentiate who is pulling a fast one and who knows their apples

9 Outdated SEO Techniques Still Practiced Today
10 Old SEO Methods You Need to Stop
Five Outdated SEO Tips: How Not to Optimize Your Website
5 outdated SEO practices you should avoid
25 Outdate SEO Terms & Tactics VS Their Modern Alternatives
5 Outdated SEO Tactics You’re Probably Still Using

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