Sports Rants Joins Support for ASPCA and Humane Society Initiatives

(my dog and our mascot Gia)

The journey of Sports Rants has been amazing, every step of it since we launched in April 0f 2011. What first started as a cool little idea that sprouted into my mind in my office back in Schenectady, New York has grown to heights that have far surpassed my expectations. Where this ride will take myself and the brand is an ever-changing ride that I am honored to be a part of as i continue this down in Miami, Florida.

The power of Social Media and a world of Sports Fans is a combination that can have a profound impact. Sports Fans have an intense passion, loyalty and dedication that, when merged with a positive cause, can yield change and produce positive results.

Most of you who know of my personal life know I am an animal lover. As an owner of a once-homeless pet myself and coming from a home where there was always a dog, animals have always been and will always be a large part of my life. My dog, Gia, is not just a pet, she’s a member of my family and I think most of your reading this who own pets understand that sentiment.

Today, Sports Rants has taken the initiative to create positivity for our animal friends.

It is with great pride that I can announce Sports Rants is now an ASPCA Guardian and a Humane Hero with the Humane Society. It is my hope that our contributions as a brand can not only help from a financial perspective but also raise awareness for these causes. Both are wonderful organizations that I am truly honored to be associated with.

As Sports Rants grows it is my mission to continue to support positive initiatives such as these.

While money is a great resource to have, I didn’t start Sports Rants solely to get rich. I have always aspired to create positivity in some way, shape or form and this is just a great opportunity to do just that.

I hope you all take time today to help raise awareness and more importantly donate to these incredible causes.

We as Sports Fans are a powerful community and a rather profound voice in society. Together we can make change.

Thank you all for your continued support of our brand and our initiatives, please visit the ASPCA and Humane Society to add your support.

 

Sincerely,

 

Anthony DiMoro
Anthony DiMoro
Founder/CEO
Sports Rants

Utilizing & Leveraging Social Media in the Media Industry

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

In our 3rd installment of our Social Media Roundtable (Check out our 1st and 2nd editions) we feature some of South Florida’s finest in Media. The topic of discussion will be how Social Media can be leveraged and maximized within the media industry. Regardless if you are currently working in the industry or aspiring to build your name within the industry, this piece will provide you insight into mastering social media to further your career and sharpen your skills.

South Florida is the perfect setting to discuss these topics. Miami is considered a leader in finance, commerce, culture, media, entertainment, arts and international trade and is experiencing a growth spurt. Areas such as downtown Miami, Miami Beach and Brickell provide an eclectic mix of culture and house a growing population.

The market size of Miami, the focus on arts & entertainment and a forward-thinking community all keep South Florida’s media professionals on their toes. Understanding social media and how to use it to constantly evolve is key to sustained success, not only for each of them personally but also for their brands as whole.

Get to know our panel:

 

How Important is Social Media in your job? How has the importance of Social Media grown within your industry?

 

Justin FinchJustin Finch – Social media is not just a part of my job. It’s as much a priority now as getting the story on the air, and my daily coffees.

The importance of social media has become, for us journalists, not just a way to link to our reports, but also a means for us to communicate with news makers, tipsters, and others who are directly impacted by the news of the day.

That also speaks to how much social media has grown. People don’t just want to watch the news, they want to talk about it — with you! So talk back, even when they don’t like what you’re saying.

Social networks are a place for conversation, and conversations evolve. So what gets you Facebook likes and Twitter retweets this month, may net you nothing a month from now. To be effective on social media, you have to surrender to the fact that it’s always changing, so you must too.

 

Erika DelgadoErika Delgado – Social media has become increasingly valuable in the weather world.  Before social media, radios were used as a substitute for television during significant weather events and power outages. However, now social media is used as the main source for updates during significant events.  Television stations are now really pushing the use of social media in all weather segments and also encouraging TV Meteorologists to communicate our forecasts via social media.

 

 

Anthony DiMoroAnthony DiMoro – Being an internet-based brand, Social Media is critical to our growth. I would venture to say that without social media, particularly Twitter, Sports Rants would not have the audience it has today. But it’s two-pronged. Having a social media profile, posting and engagement are all factors that are uniquely separated.

Building an audience that is in tune with the topics of discussion you post is as important as having a social media profile. Having a large percentage of my social media followers primarily interested in sports gives my content a platform to be visible on. It allows direct interaction with readers and starts a trend of social engagement that will keep me interesting to those who follow my profile.

Social Media has provided people such as myself, with no traditional degree in my respective field, opportunities to gain credibility that can open doors for my career. In the past those doors may not have been available to me, that credibility may not have been obtainable and the opportunities may not have existed.

Social Media allows me to leverage my brand, my work and the work of Sports Rants contributors in a way that was not available 10 years ago.

 

Jim Rodriguez
Jim Rodriguez
– Coming from English speaking media to now working in Spanish language television.  I’ve seen the use and importance of Social media grown 100-fold.  Everything from making sure our talents have their twitter handles on the on-screen graphics to calls to action, (pictures via instagram, polls on facebook, homemade videos and interviews through skype) it has became an essential element in our shows.

 

 

With the value of Social Media growing every year, How do you think this will impact your job and your industry in the future?

 

Erika DelgadoErika Delgado – Social media has truly taken over the communication industry.  It started with MySpace but Facebook and Twitter are what really have pushed social media over the edge.  It’s value to relaying weather information to viewers has grown tremendously in the past year and will only continue to do so.

I wouldn’t be surprised to begin to see a slow decline in television viewership in the future as the number of social media users increase.  As internet and social media continue to grow, it could potentially spell trouble for television stations in the future.

 

Jim Rodriguez
Jim Rodriguez
– As with many current and future consumers, social media is vital to letting them know what we are doing. On the radio side: “who is on with us right now?.. tune in”. On the television side:  it’s sharing interview snippets or teases to get people to watch our online content or to tune into the show.

As well as creating discussions, debates that will continue to keep interest in the show, topics, interviews and discussions even after we are done for the night.

 

 

Justin FinchJustin Finch – Because social media is so instant and so visceral, I think it’s will force a lot of the journalistic purists to loosen up a bit.

Social media users today have only seconds to absorb with what we spend a solid work day to broadcast. Now, we have to figure how to effectively drill down a day’s work into a 140 characters or just a picture? It won’t be a slam dunk every day, but it’s making us to think smarter about how we can make our reports more captivating and relevant.

 

 

Anthony DiMoroAnthony DiMoroSports Rants is a social media platform, so I believe social media will forever be embedded in the brand’s DNA. The great thing about being a brand built in the spirit of social media is many of  the advancements that social media will achieve in the future will be rather seamless for us to adapt to.

From an individual perspective, I believe we are seeing more media personalities evolve the way they interacting on platforms like Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. Through the years we have seen people make some really bad mistakes when posting or interacting with people on social media. Now i think there is a clearer understanding of possible “fallouts” or repercussions for making certain errors. It seems as though these incidents are naturally creating an outline of how not to conduct yourself, which is a good thing.

 

For those aspiring for a career in media, What are some tips you can give them about building their name/brand using Social Media?
What are some pitfalls or detractors to avoid?

 

Jim RodriguezJim Rodriguez – Be patient.  Honestly, a post may not get much attention.  Stay the course.  Clearly the big pitfall is that you are the brand.  The material you post, re-tweet, etc represents you.  I am not saying one would be wild or conservative,  just know that once it is out there, it is out there, even if you delete a tweet.

 

 

Justin FinchJustin FinchAs for advice to personal branding, I’d say you have to realize you will never be finished finding your voice and where you fit in this industry.
It’s just a fact. The good thing is that social media can help you with the fine tuning.

With so many people out there plotting a career just like yours, and many more with years under their belts, the thought alone of making your mark is overwhelming.

So, that makes it all the more important to figure out the nuts and bolts that make you “you,” and boil down what you uniquely bring to the table in your chosen career. Brace yourself, that could take a lifetime all by itself.

Once you figure it out, there’s still more work ahead. You’ll need to constantly polish those skills until the day you die, or retire.

 

Erika DelgadoErika Delgado – Social media is a way to communicate your ideas, thoughts, opinions, information to a greater amount of people.  However, it can also have its pitfalls if not used correctly or if used in a negative manner. Just as everything else on the internet, once it is posted or published, it remains there forever.

For those aspiring for a career in Media, the most important thing to remember is that your past always comes back to haunt you.  Employers are now using social media as a source of reference or background information about that person before they offer a position.  Where I am not against using social media for personal reasons, I truly feel one should censor what they write when communicating ideas that could be controversial, or even straight up unprofessional. That goes for posting photos as well.

Definitely take full advantage of social media, know your boundaries and also keep in mind that a potential employer is always reading your posts.  One thing to always remember as well – viewers look up to you as role models.  One wrong tweet or post will be enough to lose that viewer.

 

As much as traditional Media has embraced and utilized Social Media, what are some areas you feel it can be improved upon?

 

Anthony DiMoroAnthony DiMoro – Becoming less robotic. Some brands rely on auto-posts far too much, or completely. Understanding your audience and what attracts people to your content is key. It’s all about presentation. Posting a headline and a link may get you some clicks, but demonstrating personality & a human element can grow those clicks over time.

 

 

 

Erika DelgadoErika Delgado – Continued interaction between Media and the viewers is so important.  I think pushing out as much information possible via social media, including video of news stories and weather segments, is important and can always be improved on. Television is up against the internet. Instead of being on opposite teams, why not embrace the idea and work together with social media?  Including twitter handles during teases of a newscast is a great way to start.

 

 

Jim Rodriguez

 

Jim Rodriguez – Improvements? I’d say continue to be accurate, smart and bold.. that will continue to make a social media person earn the “chops” necessary to be even more credible and a worthy read, view.

 

 

Justin FinchJustin FinchIf you ask me, traditional media needs to embrace the “social” component in social media ASAP.

We have to reach people as people. The users on these networks just have their eyes and their devices, and they can choose to look at whatever they want, whenever they want.

That’s a huge challenge, but it also is an invitation for us to engage these users as conscious and curious human beings, and not a captive audience that’s stuck with us and our content.

We’ll also have to be more willing to be flexible. We’ve all seen certain social networks die, and on others we’re seeing the writing on the wall. To stay ahead, we’re going to have to follow these users as they adapt to the next new social network, and sometimes, we’ll have to lead them.

I mean, nobody said this social media thing was going to be easy.

 

The South Florida market is truly unique, from a media standpoint what do you think makes South Florida unique?

 

Jim Rodriguez

Jim Rodriguez – Having moved out here myself a couple of years ago… what makes this place unique is how easy one can navigate in one language and just as easy move on to another.  Being bilingual its fantastic.  More of a world to embrace, absorb and share.

 

 

Justin FinchJustin FinchSouth Florida is a unique media market for more reasons than I could ever list; but, one that jumps out right away is that there are no rules on so many different levels.

For us on the television news side, it’s not uncommon for a consumer to get their news on Spanish-language television, then switch over to an English-language station for the weather, and go back and forth all hour.

And in the field, it’s no big deal to find yourself in a situation where people who don’t speak English or Spanish.

As the gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean, a second home to snowbirds in the Northeast and Canada, and a vacation destination for the world, there are countless components to melting pot we’ve set on simmer here in South Florida. And when you’ve got that many differences brewing all one pot, it rewires your brain to think globally, teaches your ears to listen extra carefully, and trains your eyes to see and understand not everything or everyone are what they appear.

The surprises and stories here are endless.

 

Erika DelgadoErika Delgado – I think South Florida is unique for more than one reason. South Florida’s climate is a very inviting one all year long.  Because of this, activities are rarely canceled or are too hot or too cold to participate in.  Surrounded by water on all three sides also provides a very refreshing feel to the area. South Florida, specifically Miami, is also known for being a trendy, party-like city.

Naturally, newscasts in South Florida portray that trendy fashion setting anchors, and with gorgeous weather all year long, it’s no wonder many travel across the country to spend vacations in South Florida.

 

 

Anthony DiMoroAnthony DiMoro – I have only been in South Florida since August 2013, but I already can see vast differences between South Florida and Albany, New York.

Miami is more vibrant, a bigger market, larger population and a lot more energy. You can almost feel a different type of energy here.

Albany is far different. A much smaller market, limited events, long winters, it all impacts lifestyle. While the area is beautiful and rich in history, it is a different world in New York than it is here in South Florida.

 

 

Stay tuned for another Social Media Roundtable, be sure to connect with our panelists via Social Media.

Happy to Announce My New Venture with Dish Network

For the past few weeks you may have noticed my vague tweets on Twitter about pending “big news”. Well today is the day I am prepared to pull the curtains back on a big 2014 on tap.

I officially accepted a position with Dish Network/Infinity as their SEO Specialist. I’ll be bringing my talents and passion for SEO, Social Media and Branding to a well-known, respected and popular brand in Dish Network/Infinity. I will still be operating Elite Rank Media and SportsRants as I always have. This new opportunity is one that I am extremely excited to take on and I plan on some big things with the Dish Network brand.

One of my duties will be setting up and instituting a new Content area for Dish’s online brand. This will include various sections of content/news on various topics, including Sports.

This is where SportsRants.com comes in as SportsRants NFL, SportsRants NHL, SportsRants Women, SportsRants MLB, SportsRants NBA, SportsRants Racing and more sections of SportsRants’ content will be featured/associated with this online network of content. Being connected with the Dish brand speaks for itself and will not only be a major step for SportsRants but also provide Dish with established and popular Sports Content.

Be on the lookout in 2014 for Dish Network, it’s going to be a big year!

Cheers!



Social Media Roundtable: How to Perfect Sports Media on Twitter

There is no doubting the impact social media has in our lives today. It dictates topical discussion, can elevate brands and can share news stories the instant they break. Social Media hubs like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pintrest, Instagram, Reddit and Digg have grown tremendously over the past decade. During that growth they have legitimately challenged search engines as the preferred search query outlet people use.

Twitter has experienced a growth spurt in it’s social media impact. In 2012, revenue, driven largely by advertising, almost tripled to $316.9 million. In the first half of 2013, it posted revenue of $253.6 million but also had a loss of $69.3 million. According to ComScore, Twitter had roughly 36 million unique visitors in August 2013 and SEC.gov reports Twitter has 200,000,000+ monthly active users and 500,000,000+ tweets daily.

Twitter revealed in it’s synopsis of 2012 that sports was one of the most popular discussion topics users engaged in on the social media site. The Social Media Revolution is here and with brands like Facebook & Twitter going public, they legitimized themselves as a long-term fixture in our every day lives both personally and professionally. Over 90% of marketers rely on social media.

But one industry that has embraced and intertwined social media into the fabric of their culture has been sports media. Sports talk almost regularly dominates trending discussions multiple times every single day. This makes social media platforms like Twitter critical to anyone currently involved in or aspiring to make a career in sports media. The question is no longer; Do You Use Social Media? The question is now; How Well Do You Use Social Media?

Since launching SportsRants in 2011 i have utilized social media to build an image for my brand and myself. Without a degree in broadcasting, sports media or journalism I have been able to garner recognition for my work and my brand. I have created viability, respect and have positioned my brand to place us in a place of authority and value. This didn’t happen by “luck”, in fact I had an advantage before i even purchased my domain. It’s because I have been an SEO for close to 10 years. I have worked alongside some of the top SEO’s, directed campaigns for Fortune 500 and 100 companies and I have been able to improve my craft every year. The ability to support the growth of SportsRants with my own SEO company Elite Rank Media has expedited my growth.

An acumen in Search Engine Optimization in Social Media has been the main catalyst of my growth. It’s the reason why i have been viable in online radio and on Twitter.

Sure, I believe I have talent in talking about sports but it’s my Social Media & SEO knowledge that gets my brand and work out there. It’s executing a sound strategy, similar to what i do for my clients and have done for the aforementioned Fortune companies, that accelerates whatever I or my contributors do on SportsRants.

The truth is nowadays, more sports media brands are relying on social media platforms like Twitter to recruit new talent. It can be said that your activity on Social Media can be a living, constantly-evolving and fluid resume. ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Fox, CBS, NBC and other major media outlets do more talent fishing on social media than you think. Even major blog-structured outlets like Bleacher Report, SB Nation, Deadspin and even our own SportsRants do a majority of their recruitment using Twitter and other social media outlets.

Chances are if you’re reading this you are currently working in or aspiring to work in Sports Media. Whether it be in blogging, broadcasting, television or journalism you’re here because you understand the viability of social media particularly in your industry.

So if you don’t have the experience in SEO or are an “expert” in social media where do you go? How do you know if you are utilizing social media the right way to get your brand and/or work out there?

There are so many outlets that discuss SEO, but where do you find valuable information directly related to the Sports Media Industry?

I’ve had the honor of collecting some talent to offer insight in conjunction with mine on this very topic: Sports Media + Social Media 

We will be discussing the Why Social Media is Key to Your Current & Future Success, Tips on Using Social Media the Right Way & How to Conduct Yourself Properly on Social Media Websites.

We will have input from both the SEO side of things and the sports media side. We also have perspective from major markets including the West Coast, East Coast, Down South, North and Midwest.

Contributing to this discussion:

 

 

Why Social Media is Key to Your Current & Future Success

 

As I alluded to before and multiple times in the past, social media can make or break your career in media. Regardless if you are blogging, podcasting, hosting a radio show or covering a sport or team it’s crucial to not only grasp social media but also diligently work at building your presence the right way.

If you haven’t embraced Twitter, Facebook or Google+ you’re already behind the times and certainly steps behind your competition.

 

5acb48785065e0a4f7fa7c71dd1dca0eAnthony DiMoro – Seeing Twitter and Facebook go public solidifies their viability. In fact, i think Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for example are so deeply entrenched and interwoven in our society that it would be nearly impossible for it to go away anytime soon.

But understanding the impact social media can have and really immersing yourself and your brand in it is vital. I have always stressed consistency and engagement. Your social media presence is an extension of your brand and of you, so dumping it off to any sort of automation or abandoning it for chunks of time can and will hurt your initiative.

In the sports media industry you can build a powerful audience and connect with power players in your industry across the country and the world. Remember, that the first thing companies and potential employers do when researching a brand or applicant is checking up on them in search engines and social media.

If you need help motivating yourself to participate in social media always keep in mind: Your competition is already doing it —

 

shawn-roskoShawn Rosko – I think it is a good thing to see Twitter & Facebook go public because it is forcing people and brands to realize that social media is important and is not going away anytime soon. A few years back many people didn’t embrace social because they thought it was a trend that wouldn’t last, but now it is easy to see that is completely wrong as social media keeps growing and is now publicly traded.

I do not think it has hit a growth curve, people have been saying that it has for years but we keep seeing new trends popping up. Most recently we have seen photo/video rise up with platforms like vine, Pinterest, and Instagram. I think the future we will see some of the current popular platforms die off and new ones take their place. I think real time group video chats will start to become mainstream soon, that is a trend that we already see rising.

I think we will see Google+ become more popular as well, especially for brands since more people are realizing that the platform has a direct impact on authority and rankings. All of the other platforms combined help with them 2 things since Google watches social signals, but none have the direct impact that G+ has. ( http://moz.com/blog/google-plus-correlations)

Another trend I see getting extremely popular is user generated news outlets, it is already gaining popularity but before too long it is going to take over mainstream news outlets

The worst practice I currently see is brands using their social media channels as a billboard, they are just talking at their customers and not to them. If you look at the most successful brands they are using their channels to engage with their customers which is how it should be —

 

andrea2

Andrea Ocampo-Haley – I can attribute a lot of my success to social media. I feel that social media has been essential to my success and has allowed me to grow my fan base in ways that I would of never imagined. I use social media before, during and after my projects. It keeps me very busy. —

 

 

 

Conducting Yourself Properly: Negativity on Social Media

Everyone faces it on social media, almost every day. Negativity.

It’s easy for anyone to insult, bully or harass someone on Twitter, Facebook or any other social media outlet. But the key isn’t learning how to avoid social media negativity, but possessing the skills to deal with it properly. In some platforms there are little to no consequences for negative behavior on social media, therefore it is key to understand how to properly deal with these actions or comments.

As a media brand or personality it’s important to understand the consequences of your actions and reactions on Twitter. More often than not, regardless of the action or comment towards a particular individual, media and athletes are spotlighted for their reaction. Consider the fallout that Amy’s Baking Company had when reacting harshly to negative criticism regarding their brand. How about this gem? Think that hurt their business?

While this may seem unfair in some instances consider the fact that you are operating in this industry and it’s key to your current or future success to get it right.

 

julieJulie Buehler – I call Twitter “a landfill of language.” Most of it’s garbage and you have to wade through a lot of crap before finding some gems. But, I also understand that most people, fans and those who are just living out their daily lives are entirely engrossed in their own perspective.

Being in journalism, we’re trained to look at other perspectives, research fact and discover information to illuminate how different perspectives affect a certain situation. Fans are NOT trained to do that. They have their mindset and that’s it. So you just have to understand that.

The negativity I see makes me sad for the person sending it, but it’s doesn’t impact me at all, even the personal attacks and especially the gender attacks. If someone is lashing out 140 characters at time, that’s an indication to me their world is very small. I sincerely hope they continue to follow me, that per adventure, they come to realize the world is much larger than their concept. —

 

jenJen Royle – Well first, you have to consider the sources. Anyone who makes a sports debate personal has clearly taken things way too seriously and is not in the right frame of mind. Second, I don’t have anyone in my life that treats me poorly or insults me so I just remind myself, “these people have no affect on my life,” and I do my best to erase it from my mind.

People who tweet me and call me ugly or stupid and tell me to kill myself, or even threaten to kill my dog undeniably have anger and/or mental issues. I don’t give it a second thought.

I can’t always say I’ve felt this way: it took me a good couple of years to #1 accept that there are people like this out there and #2 learn how to deal with it. Its not something you can get used to over night. I feel sorry for such hateful people.

Some negatively toned people/tweeters are still sports fans. I debate to a certain extent and I have to say, I have changed a lot of people’s opinions. Some say, “you know what, Jen, I hated you five minutes ago. Now I like you.” Or “Hey Jen, I didn’t look at it that way, good point.” If it gets out of line, I block them. If they use insults, I block them.

I usually RT (retweet) insults to expose ignorance… sometimes kill them with sarcasm. I zing them with “my dog has more follower than you,” “don’t quit your day job to try to be a sports reporter,” etc. If somebody calls me ugly I’ll say, “I’m a solid 6 when I wash my hair on Tuesdays.” Stuff like that. It’s entertaining for my followers and shows I don’t take it very seriously. —

 

john

 

John Kincade – I try to engage these tweeps unless the language is foul. I promise that sometimes just engaging in the debate will earn respect and maybe a listener for the future! In my job, a lot of hosts are very thin skinned. That always amuses me. Considering that we take shots for a living! —

 

 

 

5acb48785065e0a4f7fa7c71dd1dca0eAnthony DiMoro – It’s easier to be negative on social media than to be positive. Sports is a hot-button issue which can bring together differing opinions from all walks of life. Someone telling me “you don’t know sports” always gets me to laugh but you have to learn to have a sense of humor and not take yourself too seriously on Twitter.

I do enjoy debating with people and weighing my position against an opposing point of view. But if you’re getting upset because you think Peyton Manning will throw for 7 touchdowns again while someone else thinks he won’t ever do that again, you’re losing focus.

The best debates are those that are intelligent, respectful and most of all, supported by stats. After all, most if not every aspect of media has an angle or a tone of opinion, so framing your opinion with supportive stats and facts goes a long way in any debate.

I think the most important thing is to set guidelines for yourself. Only engage in debates that have interesting and intelligent points of view. Remember that responding negatively to someone’s negative tweets makes you look bad but it also promotes their Twitter page on your timeline. Don’t validate it.

Most importantly, remember that you have the most powerful weapon in any Twitter battle: the Block button —

 

 

katy


Katy Mitchel
– Typically, I try and stay away from negative feeds. When I’m on Twitter or Facebook I try and look for the factual posts that give me information vs. the person’s opinion. Especially in a sports forum, opinions typically start debates and there’s always that one person that takes it too far.

It’s not a very pro-active approach, but sometimes you really just need to ignore the negativity. —

 

 

andrea2

 

Andrea Ocampo-Haley – We live in a society where behaving badly is celebrated. People expect instant gratification and social media allows you to do just that. Always think before you tweet. —

 

 

 

 

Rules to Live by in Social Media

 

It’s always better to have rules set in place as a road map for your activity on social media. It can be a bit unique in regards to the sports media industry but can be a fruitful endeavor. Building a name for yourself in sports talk is all about holding yourself to a high standard when engaging on Twitter.

But these rules shouldn’t be solely a code of ethics on social media but also a guide on how to find success in sports media. Brands like Twitter and Facebook are golden keys to exposure and your growth, but just like business, you are only as good as how you are structured. So structure yourself with a good foundation of social media practices (rules) and be consistent in following them.

 

jenJen Royle – Think before you hit send. People take photos of your tweets so even if you delete what you’ve written, it’s still out there. There are consequences. If you are emotional about an issue, step away from the computer/phone and try to gather your thoughts and think about the consequences/results before you hit send. There are more people than you think watching you and judging you. And some of them matter.

For me, I talk about my family, my day, my dog, my nephew, etc. I think as a radio personality, especially a female, it’s important to let people know who you are as a person. They’re going to judge you regardless so you may as well tell them the truth. I’m not afraid of who I am so I don’t hold anything back. What you see is what you get with my twitter account. You either love me or hate me, no gray area. But there’s nothing fake about it. —

 

 

john


John Kincade
– Be interactive during events that your target audience will be tuning into you to hear about later! It can create buzz. Don’t retweet a bunch of compliments you receive. I tend to retweet responses ripping on me for an opinion. Don’t take yourself too seriously either! You better step up and face the music when you are wrong. That is very powerful.

I’m selfish! First of all, I love interacting and it helps build my brand. We have a slogan that airs in show rejoins on the network that “the show never stops on a Twitter” One quality interaction can create a listener for life! —

 

 

julie
Julie Buehler –
#1  Know that what you say matters. Sometimes, it feels like spitting in the ocean, but your words on twitter DO matter and it’s important to think before tweeting.

#2 While YOUR words matter, don’t take attacks or negativity seriously. If people don’t understand how much their words matter, they aren’t worth anything.

#3  Humor will always win. —

 

 

5acb48785065e0a4f7fa7c71dd1dca0eAnthony DiMoro – Never leave anything 100% to automation. Automation can sometimes equal laziness and laziness isn’t going to help you or your brand grow. I spent a lot of time constructing my audience and i value their insight into my work and their time, you should do the same. Therefore auto-dming them, hawking your content annoyingly to them or taking a “holier than thou” approach can backfire.

Removing your ego from tweets can go a long way. We can all be wrong from time to time so admitting you’re wrong when necessary can go a long way.

Keep in mind that people have unique opinions, so tread carefully when debating them. Stick to your guns but only if you are using the ammunition of intelligence, statistics, facts and a respectful tone. Don’t give people the ammunition to cast you in a negative light. So be mindful of when you tweet and how you interact with others.

Being real relates to people. Be human. Show emotion and show a side of you that is easy to relate to. Show there is more to you than your brand.

In regards to discussing a breaking story i try and adhere to this: Instead of Obsessing over being  First, Obsess on being Right

Don’t obsess with numbers. As i have said in my posts at Elite Rank Media and here, its more beneficial to have 800 followers who are directly interested and engaged in your industry than 80,000 who mostly aren’t. —

 

andrea2

 

Andrea Ocampo-Haley – Be authentic! Social media is time consuming but try to engage with everyone who reaches out to you. Hashtags are a must, especially if you want people to find you and building relationships with people in your industry is important.

I would say consistency has been the key. Even when things have been slow I always try to engage with fans, have brainstorming sessions with producers and productions staff, and always try to be five steps ahead working on my next project. —

 

shawn-rosko
Shawn Rosko
– The 80/20 rule – when updating your brands social media channels make 80% of your updates non promotional with industry related news, jokes, and other content that will engage. The other 20% can be self promotional updates.

Hashtags – Most people should understand how important hashtags are at this point but seeing how many brands and people do not use them is surprising. They are the best way to have your updates seen by the right people, and not taking advantage of them is setting yourself up for failure. A great tool to find the most popular hashtags for any niche is hashtags.org. —

Understanding Your Market & That Every Market is Different

 

From the West to East Coast and from the North to the South and the Midwest, each market is different. Especially when it comes to sports talk & social media.

Even national or international brands need to understand how to engage and connect with each market. Some may not be as proactive as others, but the less proactive markets indicate opportunity and the more proactive markets can plop you in a crowd of influential people within your industry who can and will take notice.

julie
Julie Buehler
– Sometimes I feel like it’s a disadvantage because if I wake up at 7 am, it’s 10 am on the east coast and the world is already heavily engrossed in conversation… so for me to be a part of the mainstream, I feel like I should to be waking the roosters up on the west coast and rolling by 5 am. Not my style.

I do think there’s a more open look at sports, perhaps not so deeply entrenched in “old school” thinking and therefore, more likely to accept some “outside” voices, like a little blond gal with biceps hosting her own show. Not sure that’s going to happen in an emerging market in Alabama. —

katy
Katy Mitchel
– The markets I have been in (aside from Denver which is considered a major market) have not utilized social media to it’s full potential. I think there’s a few factors as to why, including lack of knowledge. If you are proficient at a certain skill than everyone relies on you rather than learn the product. In small markets we wear many different hats so it would really be just adding more to what we already do. It’s unfortunate because I feel the way social media SHOULD be used could compliment what I do greatly. —

john

 

John Kincade – I think a lot of the sports media just uses Twitter in a “reactionary” fashion. I do too, but I like to be proactive. I throw out my thoughts and rants daily and get things rolling before I ever sit behind a mic. I learn a lot from my tweeps too! —

 

 

 

andrea2


Andrea Ocampo-Haley
– I think South Florida’s multicultural society gives me the opportunity to interact with my fans in Spanish. I always have to be on top of my news in both English and in Spanish.It’s a wonderful opportunity to stay closely connected to my culture and living in South Florida allows me to do just that. —

5acb48785065e0a4f7fa7c71dd1dca0eAnthony DiMoro – Starting SportsRants in Albany, NY was tough. Honestly i found the level of sports media interest was underwhelming. While Albany isn’t necessarily a small demo, it lacks the passionate fan base that is hungry for sports media insight.

Most of any opportunities that could have been afforded to me weren’t simply because i was an “internet guy” who didn’t go the traditional road of a broadcast journalism degree nor did i cut my teeth working for a community station or paper. I never had an aspiration to do that. Mainly because I understand where my strengths lie. Anything I ever accomplished in the Capital Region was facilitated by my strengths and talents. I knew if I had a shot or opportunity I could produce something quality.

I never steered away from my opinion, never suppressed my competitive nature or talent. I never let anyone tell me “you can’t“. In Albany, New York it’s a small media circle so if you’re not in the clique then you’re not relevant in their eyes. Typically these were folks in the “old guard” who refused to buy into the internet and social media wave I thrive in. Some media outlets were great to me and I did make good connections, but I feel there is a resistance to go outside the norm that exists there that doesn’t allow progression.

In South Florida it’s a little different only because there is a more “tech-savvy” feel here. A more youthful media community that understands social media. It also helps having pro sports teams here as I feel that was a major factor in the sports media culture of Albany, NY.

Staying your course while always evolving is key. Being confident in your ability and who you are as well. —

Sharing Your Content on Twitter – How Often Does Tweeting People Your Content Work?

 

We all get the tweets from time to time where someone asks you to read or retweet an article from their blog or website.

But how often does it work? Are you doing it the right way? Who actually takes your recommendation?

shawn-rosko


Shawn Rosko
– They don’t annoy me when they are done in moderation, and many times I will check them out if I have time. If I see something interesting but don’t have time I will save to pocket (http://getpocket.com) to check out later. If I see someone just promoting something over and over with no other engaging updates I get annoyed and won’t check out their content and usually I will delete them. This is exactly where the 80/20 role mentioned above should be used. —

julie

Julie Buehler – I have found about a 5-10% return rate on these type of tweets when I send them out. When others do it, they don’t annoy me, I usually click links of people I enjoy following and I think the best way to catch attention is with pictures and sending out a great headline with a link. These are things I’m still working on improving. —

katy
Katy Mitchel
– I try to listen to my friends shows, but once again time comes into play. If I can have it on in the background while I work that’s one thing. But I do have to say the majority of people I surround myself with are wonderful writers and I enjoy reading blogs and articles regarding sports. I think they are much more time-friendly and can be read in multiple sittings. The only tweets/invites that annoy me are the ones that are trying to sell something. If it’s to listen to your show or read your blog, I understand it’s all about branding. If I don’t want to read/listen I won’t. —

5acb48785065e0a4f7fa7c71dd1dca0eAnthony DiMoro – I try not to annoy people my mentioning them when tweeting an article or radio show. I always try and remember what i think when it’s done to me. I usually tune it out immediately, especially if i look at that person’s timeline and see that is all they are doing.

If you DM me, good luck getting a response. I think we are all trained to think almost every unsolicited DM is spam and more often than not, it is.

I really value organic interaction. If people like your work, they will naturally click on your links to access it. Bludgeoning anyone isn’t a good marketing tactic.

I also think the most powerful and under-utilized tool is the hashtag. Use relative hashtags and you could organically attract readers and new followers alike. —

What’s Next For Sports Talk in Social Media?

 

So what IS the next evolution of Sports Talk in Social Media? What would make it better?

julie

Julie Buehler – From fans: a common understanding that sports is not life. Sports teaches us a lot about life, but there’s so much more. So they shouldn’t take it so seriously.

From media: to be more proactive in directing a conversation. Media is supposed to be trained, as I said before to procure information and disseminate it in hopes of advancing the conversation. If all the media does is REACT to the fans opinions and conversation points, we’ll get no where. Trained, intelligent media members should offer fans information, and help educate them in the reality of sports, not just hope for better ratings by feeding a fire of bad logic and frivolous ideas that come from despondent and overly dramatic fans —

shawn-rosko


Shawn Rosko
– This is another area where I think group video can be huge, it can allow people from all over the country to get more involved in sports conversation. User engagement is key and video is the best way to get great user engagement. Engaging the general public on social media platforms is important in many ways, and hearing their thoughts about sports can take sports talk to another level. —

katy

Katy Mitchel – If someone could create a site where only serious journalists could meet and discuss that would be fantastic. There’s no accountability in the media anymore because anyone can write a blog, but there’s no fact-check police to monitor it. It’s sad, too. When our society values first comment more than relevancy. Hopefully something is done about that soon.

Social Media is here to stay and so is sports talk. The evolution of both are now intertwined and more fluid than ever. —

As you can see, there are many ways that social media can be used, particularly on Twitter. Harnessing your talents and displaying them on Twitter is a calculated practice that can elevate your career in Sports Media. From SEO’s to Bloggers to Website owners and Sports Media, it’s critical to not only understand how to use these outlets well, but to use them in a way that casts the right light on your work.

Although this Roundtable discussion is complete we plan on having more in the future. But that’s not all the advice and tips we have for you regarding Social Media, Sports Media & SEO:

VIDEO: How to Grow Your Presence on Twitter the Right Way 

Social Media: Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?

Empowering Your Twitter Presence

Understanding What Search Engines Want

Cleaning Up Your Social Media Profiles

—————————————————————————————————————————

If you need SEO Services for your brand or business, make sure to visit Elite Rank Media

For additional information on Social Media tips visit SportsRants University and Elite Rank Media

What to Avoid When Shopping for SEO Services

I was driving home from the gym here in Albany, New York when I overheard a commercial I have heard quite a bit in recent months. The commercial pitched a media company’s SEO and Reputation Management services.

While the commercial didn’t stand out to me, the add-on blurb at the end of it certainly did. This particular company touted “Local Businesses get on the first page of search results in 90 days“.

There are a few things you should likely avoid when shopping for SEO Services. Operating an SEO Company of my own, i’m not going to pitch you my services. Yes, I would love your business, but the point of this article is to help you understand some things to take into account when shopping for an SEO company, especially a company with a firm guarantee.

It’s key to understand a guideline instituted by Google and by almost every single search engine out there. Something that has been in place for years.

Any links intended to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site, or outgoing links from your site. Manipulating these links may affect the quality of our search results, and as such is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

That is taken right from Google’s guidelines page about Link Schemes but there is one credo that is consistent in most, if not all, search engine guidelines; Search Engines Will Police Any Attempts to Manipulate Their Search Ranking Results

So how can any SEO Company guarantee search results within a given period of time?

The truth is it’s unlikely at best! This also may suggest a company may be incorporating methods that search engines like Google explicitly outline as being frowned upon to get you said fast results.

While they may get you there in 90 days, what happens after that? What happens if a Search Engine penalizes or bans you for these methods? It’s not to suggest they are definitely employing these negative methods, but it should make you do some additional investigating.

SEO is a unique industry, an industry unlike any other. It’s an industry which is mostly void of any true guaranteed results and if you have a basic understanding of SEO, you know why.

From a business perspective I understand why this sounds appealing. Guaranteed results. Instant R.O.I. I get it.

But what good does this do if these very methods end up putting your company or brand in a worse place than when you started? Only now you are out some cash because you bought into guarantees from companies peddling a guarantee.

SEO isn’t and shouldn’t be like operating a light switch. A company shouldn’t be paying an SEO company to “flip a magic switch” to provide favorable search results.

In fact a company should get to know your brand, the service or product you offer and the unique industry you are in. A Restaurant is  in a different niche and industry then a Hair Salon and therefore should be treated as such. Your SEO Company needs to view you and your SEO campaign the same exact way.

The sad thing is that many SEO companies know that businesses don’t know SEO. They also know that companies may not want to know or understand SEO. And for those reasons they swoop in and take advantage.

I have turned away numerous clients who have intimated to me “I need results by this date” or have pressed me to make guarantees. Although I would like their business I cannot risk my brand or my clients by operating in a climate that would satisfy customers who want instantaneous results. More often than not, it forces specialists to use tactics that, if caught, could lead you to search engines purgatory. Then you are essentially doing a major disservice to your client and their brand.

Local businesses are usually the targets. They know they need to compete online and with corporate brands that have ten-fold the budget they have. But don’t let fear and panic push you towards making a bad decision. Do your research about the methods the SEO company in question employs and weigh that against Search Engine Guidelines. Ask questions so you understand what exactly you are getting involved with. Test the knowledge of the company you are interviewing.

Additionally, go to an SEO Company that solely handles SEO. These days newspapers and radio networks like to push SEO services to their listeners. Would you hire a Barber to fix your plumbing? Chances are you want a plumber to handle your plumbing. The same should be said about newspapers and radio stations. SEO is a delicate process and should be handled by people who solely specialize in or offer SEO.

Again, this isn’t intended to be arrogant or to lead you to my company. I think that every business is unique and needs to find the right SEO Company for their specific needs. Each SEO company is different so while i may not be a good fit for your brand, it doesn’t meant that another SEO Company or competitor can’t deliver you what you need effectively or efficiently.

At the end of the day you can take the bait of a guarantee. But judging from how many clients i take on that have taken that very bait before, damaged their website rankings/standings, chances are you’ll be hiring myself or another SEO company in the future to fix the issues that guarantee caused.

Hopefully by then you aren’t run out of business or overtaken by a competitor that “didn’t take the bait”

 

 

Tips to Empower Your Twitter Presence

Social Media is an ever-evolving entity. A powerful one that can bring your brand to the next level, but also be a detractor. Misusing social media can stunt a brand’s growth and even create bad press if a erroneous tweet get’s visibility.

One issue that seems to stand out is how people and brands misuse Twitter thinking they are in fact doing something 100% positive.

Here are some helpful tips to help polish your social media experience.

Target Your Direct Audience

One tactic that is commonly used on Twitter to gain new followers is to follow folks with the hope they follow you back. This can work extremely well but isn’t a method that comes without it’s own pitfalls.

While in theory the method sounds straight forward and can have great returns too many people don’t take the time to avoid one mistake.

It makes little sense to incorporate people in your Twitter-universe that don’t fit into your niche. It makes even less sense to incorporate those who demonstrate the fact you took no time to actually look at the people you follow.

For example, let’s say you have around 30,000 followers on Twitter, but are following 26,000. What value does that 26,000 number have if you follow porn accounts, clear spam accounts or accounts that are so far outside your industry that there is zero chance they even pay attention to what you tweet or what your brand is?

Furthermore, what does it say say about those following you? Sure the number 30,000 is great but if only 40% of that number is in your direct niche, than that’s 60% of your audience that are least likely to be engaged in your topics. That’s a large sacrifice just to be able to tout a larger followers number.

Secondly, if you mutually follow a brand that is spammy or clearly low brow than that directly effects your image and the brand you’re pushing. People do look at who you follow. If they find enough questionable connections, they may in fact question it.

 

Leave Your Ego At the Door

Sure we all love seeing a nice differential between the number of people following you and the number of people you follow. It makes you seem that much more intriguing.

But particularly in the media industry, a lot of brand refuse to follow back. Leave your ego at the door.

Sure, following everyone back is not ideal, but those who interact heavily with you and your brand may garner the exception at some point in time.

Truth is if you aren’t a major, mainstream brand or representing one you should check your ego at the door. You are not above your audience. Especially if your goal is to be a major contender.

Putting your audience at the same level they put you can give them more initiative to engage, interact and visit your brand.

Be selective but don’t be afraid to follow back.

 

Let’s Be REAL

Seriously…enough with the auto posts.

I can go on and on about how bad this looks when all you do is auto post. This can be because you have your Twitter account synced with Facebook or another account where posts are automatically aggregated to all platforms. But this can lead people to unfollow you just as easy as they followed you to being with.

What would the incentive be to following you if they are getting the same exact message from your brand every where else?

 

Food for thought on a few ways to improve your Tweeting!

Happy Ranting!

Protecting Your Brand – Cleaning Up Your Social Accounts

From time to time it can be advantageous to do a little house cleaning. Perhaps your bedroom, like mine often is, is a disaster area that needs a bit of TLC to make it “presentable”. Maybe you have company coming over for dinner and you want to make sure your house is in tip-top shape. Whatever the case may be, a little housekeeping is necessary.

But just like your home or apartment, your brand needs a bit of that as well. Monitoring spam is certainly the best way to go about doing this, especially if you have a blog or a general comments page on your site. But how often should you grab that virtual broom and go to town on a serious cleaning-frenzy? Where do you target?

Let’s break it down piece by piece with some tips, why you should do a little cleaning and how it benefits your brand.
Website Interactions

This is probably first and foremost on your list and if it isn’t than it should be.

Most of you who contribute or run a blog that gets a bit of traffic certainly have run into the spam at one time or another. Typically, it’s a comment on your site that says something about your content without actually addressing the topic directly.

Something to the effect of ;
Wow, such great information on this topic i had not thought about. I like to reference this site. Great content

Weed these out, it can make your blog look less interactive than more interactive. Furthermore, spam comments have one purpose, to pass a link on your website. Sometimes they can hide the link in the “name” of the person posting it, sometimes they link a word in the comment or just blatantly paste a URL in the comment itself.

Keep in mind that most people who are legitimately going to comment on your blog, will directly mention your topic. They also may not sit there and rave about the content. Weed them out. The less spam is on your site/blog the better.

Spam comments can have a negative impact on your traffic but also your rankings. The last thing you want is for a search engine to think you are advocating a spam-website. No bueno!

 

Facebook Fans & Twitter Followers

Pretty much the largest task to manage. Not going to lie, this takes a lot of time and dedication. But it’s extremely beneficial for many reasons. Most of you cannot control who follows you, but you should take a more proactive approach in managing it.

The misconception on Twitter and with Facebook is that “more = more” and a culture of “quantity over quality” exists. People broadly think Twitter and Facebook numbers is a direct reflection on how much people really dig their stuff. While that certainly has some truth in it the reason they “like” you is for differing reasons.

  • Some People just follow you to get a follow back, they have no interest in your content
  • Some people just create spam profiles and merely want to DM you spam

The most important factor to keep in mind for why you should clean up your followers on Twitter and your fans on Facebook; hackers. Hackers spamming your page are in one way or another, targeting it. They want to hack it, they want to take over your account and spam, spam, spam.

So how do you combat it?

Run through your followers and fans list, no matter the size, and take a look at your followers. Are they active? Do they post regularly? What do they post? Is it spam? Are they even real profiles?

Again you cannot control who follows you. A high-traffic website will get tons of followers and fans on Facebook. But block those that meet any questionable criteria. Additionally, there could be a correlation from the spam hitting your website and the followers or fans to your social pages.

Blocking & Reporting for Spam will not only prevent your accounts from being compromised, but it will drive up your interaction. Real people who follow you for real reasons will be more likely to contribute to your conversations. That is the value! That is your goal.

What is the sense of 25,000 fans or followers if only 2,000 of them actually interact? In the end it’s just a number. If you’re a brand looking to genuinely grow and market to your target audience, don’t obsess with numbers. 25 people who are true fans of your content and your product, trump 250 just standing around.

Imagine you were a band playing in a convention hall. Having 250 people in the hall is great to tout, but if they are not interested, they aren’t listening and aren’t buying your music. You might as well imagine those 250 people wearing headphones. Therefore what would you rather have? 250 standing around not hearing your music or 25 fans, front row, wearing your tshirts and singing along word for word to your songs?

Cleaning up your fans and followers will also contribute in the factoring of Twitter verifying your account and Facebook keeping your content from tripping spam filters.

 

Email/Newsletter Lists

Those of you who have newsletters or mailing lists, listen up!

This is vital. Clean your list regularly! Check to see if these people are still active, if their emails still exist. If they aren’t active or the emails don’t exist anymore, remove them.

Not removing them can boost your “non-click” numbers and put your site and brand at risk of being labeled as spam.

So how do you monitor this? How do you get factual numbers?

Take a few bucks and use an online mailing list service. They each offer a level of detailed reporting and keep track of unsubscribes for you. It’s worth the money, every cent of it, especially if you rely on newsletters and mailers.

 

It takes a little work, a ton of effort and some dedication of time, but in the end the pros out weigh the cons. Some of you may gloss over this but keep in mind, how your brand is operated is how it will prosper. If you’re not doing your utmost due diligence on all fronts, you’re going to hit failure roadblocks before being on the fast track to success

 

by @AnthonyDiMoro

How Link Exchanging Can Hurt Your Blog

We all see it from time to time when visiting the various sports blogs circulating through social media. Some call it “affiliates” some label it as their “partners” but in the simplest of terms, and as it is correctly labeled, it is a link exchange. It seems like a great way for two sites to cross-promote and in theory seems like a mutually beneficial venture.

But can this be a detriment to your blog?

In some instances it can be beneficial but more often than not, your spike in traffic and the clickthroughs from one site to yours is short term at best. But in some instances it can severely stunt your website’s growth and furthermore could negatively impact your websites traffic.

So why would someone want to do a link exchange?

 

1. It’s called “Teaming Up” or “Partnering”

Some blogs like to actively ask for logo exchanges via social sites like Twitter. We get them from time to time on SportsRantz and the process goes like this:

A. Website X tweets you asking to partner up, team up or become an sponsorship partner

B. You agree

C. Website X sends you a logo to place on your website linking to them

D. You place a logo linking to your site on Website X

So what possible benefits can exist when doing this? What could possible be the reasoning? Well, the answer is quite simple and to the average, everyday blogger could seem like a slam-dunk.

A. More Visitors to Your Blog

B. Your Logo prominent on another website

C. Free Advertising

While those are all reasons good enough to make any blog-owner jump for joy, it’s simply not the whole truth. so let’s examine why this isn’t as good of a process as one might think.

Image Risks

As with any advertising partner, you run the risk of being associated with their website. If your content is structured a certain way, or if your website is constructed a certain way you run the risk of your readers associating you with another site. It’s always good to do your research and check out who else these blogs link to.

What type of content do they post?

Are the posting original articles?

Do they link to gaming and/or porn websites that can negatively impact your website?

These are all things that need to be asked when you are posed with the proposition of partnering up. Keep in mind that the internet works a bit differently and things such as this, aren’t as cut and dry as they are in real life. Putting a logo on your site is not like posting a flier in your store, it has many possible consequences.

So before directing your readers to another blog, make sure its content you feel comfortable endorsing. Links are endorsements.

2. Risking Your Audience

This one is pretty cut and dry. Promoting a blog on your blog always runs the risk of decreasing one websites traffic only to increase the other websites traffic. If you point your visitors to check out another site, some very well may, but will they come back to your site?

It’s a question worth asking yourself. Is the risk worth the reward?

3. Potentially Damaging Your Website or Blog

Everyone knows how important coming up in search engines can be. Search Engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and others all have strict rules in guidelines in how they list their search results and where your site will rank.

Those of you who perform SEO or outsource for SEO work hard and have goals to increase traffic and visibility via the search engines.

Link exchanges run the risk of violating many of those regulations. If your site is viewed as violating said rules, then your site could be suspended from the search engines or worse, knocked out completely for violations.

One of the oldest methods in getting links to a website is by way of link exchanges. But the issue is, so many have exploited it’s benefits over the years that search engines are very mindful of how they value these exchanges. Most, like Google, see it as an attempt to manipulate their search results in order to create a clear benefit for a particular website. In that case, your risking losing your rankings and website power which will impact your traffic, cut down on readers and severely decrease the value of your website not only to you, but to potential and existing advertisers.

But don’t just take my word for it, read Googles Guidelines right here . I’ll point out three particular bulletpoints that should be very, very clear and should support what I am saying:

  • Excessive link exchanging (“Link to me and I’ll link to you”)
  • Linking to web spammers or unrelated sites with the intent to manipulate PageRank
  • Building partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking

There is is folks, proof that it certainly can harm your website.

And believe me, Google isn’t the only one who believes this, check out Bings guidelines regarding link exchanges:

Reciprocal linking

In cases like this, you agree with another website to exchange links. They point one at your site, and you point one at their site. Keeping in mind that humans normally don’t follow this pattern, Bing can easily see there is limited value to such link exchanges. Don’t skip this as a valid link building tactic, however. New websites need links, and exchanging a link is a solid way to not only gain a trusted inbound link, but potentially to gain direct traffic form the other website. That traffic could easily bring with it more links as those new visitors spread the word about your own website.

 

Are all Link Exchanges Bad?

Yes and No, but you can see that search engines are bit sensitive when valuing such tactic. As you can see in Bing’s own response they do see a clear value in it, but caution that the process is mostly a pattern that humans don’t normally follow and something that comes with limited value.

What search engines want to see is the endorsing or promoting of good, quality websites. In a human manner. But if you have received a tweet, message or email asking you to do something like a link exchange, chances are you aren’t the first recipient, nor will you be the last, and this is a clear indicator the entity requesting the link exchange is already violating rules. So by linking to them, you’ll now run the risk of some negative repercussions.

Bottom line, if you’re asked to do a link exchange, be listed on a “partner page” or something similar or anything remotely close in description to these methods….Deny it. If they really dig your website or blog, they’ll list it without needing you to do something in return. If they don’t, no big deal. It won’t be as big of a traffic benefit as you may think.

 

 

 

How to Track Traffic to Your Blog

Traffic is vital to the overall success of your blog, but most of you may be wondering; “How do I measure the traffic stats of my blog on SportsRantz?“. Glad you asked!

There actually has been a feature on SportsRantz for quite some time that allows you to setup Google Analytics and track your blog’s traffic. Don’t worry if you haven’t seen it yet, with so many features on SportsRantz it can be easy to lose track of some things in the shuffle.

So how do you setup traffic stats on your site? Luckily, we made this fairly easy to do in the following steps outlined below.

#1 – Create a Google Analytics Account

 

First things first, you have to have an Analytics account to configure. But this is actually quite easy, just head on over to http://www.google.com/analytics/

Once you have entered your website information you will be directed to a page that will have a Tracking ID it will most likely resemble this:
UA-32950914-1

 

#2 – Adding Analytics to your Blog

 

Once you have that all setup go to your blog Dashboard. When you come to the Dashboard page look the the left menu bar and scroll down to the Settings tab and select Google Analytics

You will then be directed to a settings page to enter your Site Tracking Code, enter the code in the white box. You can also choose to track the load times, purely your choice. When you are done hit Save Changes

 

#3- Tracking Your Stats

 

After a day or two login to your Google Analytics account and you should be able to track your traffic stats. Keep in mind you will not be able to find your stats in your Dashboard, only in your Google Analytics account page.

 

 

 

The Drawbacks of Blog Networks

Are you a contributor to a blog? Is your blog hosted on a blog network?

In this edition of SportsRantz University we should you the drawbacks of doing so and the benefits of building your own brand. While some networks like Yahoo Sports are great for exposure there are hundreds of other sites that don’t give you the full info on what it means to blog for them, even if they give you your own .COM.

So before you go helping another site build it’s brand, consider building your own and how to do so on SportsRantz.com!

 

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://sportsrants.com/wp-content/uploads/avatars/18/db07be470022f7b796222328b96b6eb1-bpfull.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Anthony DiMoro is an SEO/Social Media & Internet Marketing expert with close to 10 years of experience. During his tenure with We Build Pages, a leading SEO firm, he was rated the Top SEO Link Builder and Top SEO Manager. Anthony now operates Elite Rank Marketing SEO, a company he started in 2009 after he departed from WBP. Anthony is considered a top SEO & Link Builder in the industry and has had the honor of working on SEO projects with companies like OverStock.com, VistaPrint and also Guitar World. He is also the host of the #1 rated sports radio shows on SportsRantz Radio [/author_info] [/author]