Marketing your MindBite Part 2: On Your Site or Blog
Other than working to optimize your lesson pages, one of the easiest ways to drive traffic to your lessons is likely from your own website or blog. Our first post in this series talked about optimizing on MindBites in order to market your videos to potential customers. In this post, we’ll talk about several things you can do on your own blog or website to further optimize your lessons for search (mostly through links) and to drive traffic to your lesson pages. Note that these things can be done on anyone’s site or blog, so feel free to encourage your blogging friends to do the same thing on your behalf:
1. Link, link, link!
A lot of helping people find your lesson on the web is driven by search engine optimization (SEO) or how well your lessons show up when people are searching Google (or other search engines) for the material covered in your lessons. A large part of how Google (and similar) rankings are determined is the number and quality of links that go to your lessons. So, by all means, make the most of your site by linking to your lessons. Wondering what URL to link to? Look at the bottom of the right-hand column of your lesson page; the URL to link to will be listed there in a box under the header ‘Link to this Page.’ A couple of tips for linking from your site are, in order of importance:
- Link from your most popular pages - These are almost always your home page and/or the main page of your blog (or sidebar, more on this later). The more central or popular the page is on your site or blog, the more valuable the link from the page to your lessons will be.
- Use descriptive text in your links - When you link to your lessons, use the best keywords in the text you link from (called anchor text). In other words, never link like this but instead link to your new video lesson on Really Simple Bookkeeping.
- Link to as many of your lessons as you can - If you have to link to only one place, link to your author page. Otherwise, try and get links to as many of your lessons as you reasonably can. Have a lot of lessons? Pick a set of 6 to 10 that are popular or that you want to promote. Alternatively, think about creating a few series (bundles of lessons) and link to these higher-priced items.
With all that is said about web marketing, links are still the king. Want to skip the rest of this post and get 80% of the benefit in 10 minutes? Go find a spot on the home page of your site and blog, probably in the sidebar or near the bottom (but above the footer), and add a column of links like this:
Check out my Baby Signing Video Lessons:
Wham, bam, you are a web marketing genius. Want to keep going? Keep reading!
2. Embed Your Videos - Add Action, Content and Links for Your Users!
We make it really easy to embed your lesson previews (in a range of different sizes) on your own site. Just go to any of your lesson pages and copy the embed code (in the bottom of the right-hand column of any lesson page). Paste this HTML embed code into your site and voila, your users get to see your great content…and you get easy links and great paths through which viewers can purchase your lessons.
Looking for a nice and easy graphical way to show off your MindBites lessons? We’ve created badges for you to stick on your site as a reminder to visitors that you have lessons available for sale in the MindBites marketplace. To get them, go to your Author Dashboard and look for the “Get Badges” link on the left-hand navigation column.
4. Blog About Your Lessons, Get Ideas and Keep it Fresh
Your blog is likely your most personal and direct method of communication with your friends, family and followers. Thus, this is a great place to announce newly-published lessons, newly-created series, promotional opportunities (e.g. notification of lesson sales, etc), etc. You can also use your blog as a way to get feedback or even suggestions for (or an indicator of interest in) potential future lessons.
5. Consider linking from your Sidebar or Footer for Maximum Exposure
Linking from your most popular pages is highly beneficial for search engine optimization. An additional tactic to get a larger audience for your content is to feature it site-wide by including it in your sidebar or footer. That way a visitor is offered a link where they can check out your lessons regardless of where they are on your site. Want a neat sidebar idea? Check out what Jim Stroud did to periodically feature a different one of his lessons across his blog - The Recruiters Lounge:
6. Create a custom widget to showcase up to 12 of your lessons and series
Custom widgets were created for our authors who wanted to showcase a selection of their available MindBites lessons and Products in one convenient little box.
MindBites widgets come in a few different sizes and can either be grey (like the one to the right), blue or black. You can customize the widget with pretty much any content you’d like by specifying the content or selecting from categories. Alternatively, you can just as easily opt to display all or a selection of your own MindBites products.
To customize a widget for your own site, look for the ‘Create Widget’ link on the left-hand side of your Author Dashboard. Once you’ve done the customizing, you’ll be able to preview it (and tweak it as necessary). When you like what you see, simply copy and paste the provided embed code at the bottom of the page into your own site/blog.
7. Think About creating a MindBites Custom Store to sell your Videos on your Site
If you’re really serious about offering your content to your users, you should consider creating a video store on your site. While you could do this by creating a “Video Lessons” page and embedding all of your videos there, you’d be better off creating a MindBites Custom Store. These video stores can be skinned to match the look and feel of your site and are set-up with a similar URL as a MindBites subdomain (e.g. mysmarthands.mindbites.com). As far as your users are concerned, they function as a main part of your site. The easiest way to tie in a MindBites custom store is by adding a Video Store link to your main site navigation. You can replicate those same navigation links on MindBites, which means users will easily be able to go back and forth from your store to other parts of your site. To get started creating a store, look for the ‘Create Store’ link on your Author Dashboard.
This feature is a great way to harness the full power of the MindBites platform. It allows you to create a mini-MindBites site on your own site. There, users can preview, purchase and watch any of the lessons and/or series you’ve uploaded to MindBites, and even better, the video store pages only show your content and are all branded to match your own site’s look and feel. Here are a few examples to check out:
Laura Berg’s Baby Sign Language Video Lesson Store
Lydia Fiedler’s Make Your Own Greeting Cards Video Lesson Store
Thom Singer’s Business Networking Video Lesson Store
Chem Podcast’s Chemistry Lectures & Lessons Store
Peter Wood’s Painting and Art Lesson store
So, that’s the scoop on marketing your MindBite from your own site or blog. At the end of the day, it really comes down to common sense. In the places your users are the most, tell them about your lessons and show them how to access them. A little effort will go a long way and pay dividends over the long-run. So, go get to marketing!
Oh, and if you haven’t checked out Part 1 of this series - on Marketing your Lessons on the MindBites site, make sure to do so! Next up, Part 3 of the Marketing your MindBite series, which focuses on promoting your videos through social media and online communities.
- Pingback: Marketing your Video Lesson Part I - On MindBites | MindBites the Blog on July 7, 2009