Archive for the ‘Free Tools’ Category

Save Your Google Reader Subscribers By Migrating to Feedly

Hey friends, I have a problem. You might have one, too.  

Google is sunsetting Google Reader, and that’s going to prevent a lot of our subscribers – good folks like you – from reading the BuzzStream blog.

I suspect you might have the same problem with your blog, so I wanted to show you how to get your subscribers onto Feedly, an awesome new RSS Reader.

What’s Feedly?

Feedly is a new RSS reader.  I anticipate it will become the dominant player in its category, due to its excellent user experience and great design.  It also offers several key advantages to web publishers – so I suggest you jump on the Feed.ly bandwagon and try to move your Google Reader subscribers to it, before you lose them.

(The other major option here is to attempt to move those subscribers to email.  Now this discussion is outside the scope of this post, and email is certainly a great choice, depending on your audience.)

What Do My Visitors Experience in Feedly?

Feedly creates a beautiful, customized news homepage for you, based on the stuff you like:

 feedly home page

Individual posts look like this:

individual post in feedly

 

Pretty great, eh?  There’s also versions for Chrome and Firefox, as well as Kindle and Android devices.

How Do I Get Them to Subscribe to Feedly?

So now, you need to get your visitors to both a) start using Feedly, and b) add your site to their account.

Fortunately, Feedly has some one-click subscribe and download buttons.  They keep these hidden in a .ZIP file, but you can find them here.

According to Feedly, the Feedly button will:

“Feedly buttons allow your readers to easily find and subscribe to your feed in their feedly.
If a user has feedly installed on his/her device, the button will open your feed directly in feedly.
If a user does not have feedly installed, he/she will land on the feedly install landing page, and upon installing, launch feedly directly to your site.”

You can choose a button image Feedly has provided, or make your own.

The buttons look (and work) like this:

Subscribe to BuzzStream through Feedly

You can create your own feedly subscribe link by linking to your feed URL appended to http://www.feedly.com/home#subscription/feed/.  So if I wanted to make that button that automatically subscribes you to BuzzStream’s feed via Feedly, I would go with a link to http://www.feedly.com/home#subscription/feed/http://feeds.feedburner.com/BuzzStreamFeed

How Feedly Helps Web Publishers

Feedly, in addition to giving you a great way to save your readers from the forthcoming Google Reader Apocalypse, has a number of pretty rad featuers from a publishing perspective:

Encourages Sharing across Various Networks

Feedly has pretty solid social buttons, including some those for some less common services:

social share icons in Feedly

 

 

Claim Your Hashtag and Control Your Brand Searches

You can claim your hashtag on feedly, and thus control what results appear for brand searches in the reader.  It’s easy – you just need to fill out a Google Spreadsheet – and the Feedly team does the rest.

Get Your Blog Featured

 If you fall into certain categories – like design or business – your blog can get featured by Feedly, and you can gain hundreds of new subscribers.  You can learn more here on their publisher’s page.

P.S. Don’t Forget to Subscribe to the BuzzStream Feed

Google Reader will end, and you might not be able to read this blog any more.  Make sure you get Feedly and subscribe to the BuzzStream feed here:

Subscribe to BuzzStream through Feedly

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Link Prospecting at Pace – You Snooze You Lose

Today’s guest post comes from one of our favorite customers, Jon Quinton of SEOGadget.  You can follow Jon on Twitter or Google Plus

High level strategic direction is all well and good; however sometimes before you can ‘sell’ a client (or your boss) on something bigger you need to prove you can get results right now.  If you need results right now – chances are you need links right now.

But getting links right now is hard work. One of the biggest barriers for successful link building is lack of drive.

There’s a big difference between churning out crap at a rate of knots compared to having a desire to win and being the kind of person that grabs hold of opportunities before it’s too late. It’s the latter that makes me excited, and time and time again I find it’s this characteristic that makes someone great at link building. This requires having your ear to the ground at all times and being in a place where you find opportunities before they’re gone; that takes hard work and commitment.

A strong list of link prospects that you can update quickly should be your weapon of choice.

Finding people who are likely to link

There’s not much point in spending time promoting your content to people who are never likely to link to you. Some contacts are going to take a greater time investment and this is fine, but don’t waste time on sites that won’t be interested in what you’re doing.

So how do you go about finding sites and authors that will be into what you’re doing enough to link to your work? Trawling through competitors backlinks one by one can be time consuming, dull, and seeing that this is a post about getting stuff done quickly, let’s look at a faster way to work.

As some of you may know, we recently launched a tool that uses a bunch of APIs that can, amongst other things, pull contact details from linking sites and export that data into Excel. The idea here was to aid people with link clean up, but it’s also very handy for link building too! The way I’d use this to speed up prospecting is to throw in a bunch of backlinks from sites in a similar space to yours, export the data and combine into one master sheet:

Excel-Sheet1

Assuming you’ve got rid of the poor quality sites and those that have no contact details, by using the COUNTIF function you can pretty easily add a column to show the number of occurrences a particular person appears as a contact across a variety of your competitors linking domains. If your aim is to find people that are happy to link to content in your space, this will do the trick pretty quickly! 

Using the BuzzStream ‘People’ function is a great way to store this data and manage your contacts on an ongoing basis; it’s something we’ve found really useful especially as the team grows. The beauty here is that your list of people will grow in time. Imagine spending 30 minutes a week repeating the process?

BuzzStreet-Shot1

(more…)

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Free Tool: Build Outreach Lists from Blogrolls

We just made another free tool available on our link building tools page to help you build outreach lists.  Pretty simple tool to use…just plug in a set of URLs and this tool will look for any blogrolls on the pages you’ve entered.  Here’s how you use it…

Paste in a set of blog URLs that are related to the category you’re focused on:

Blogroll list building tool - enter blog URLs

Click “Go” and the tool will populate a table to the right:

blogroll outreach list tool - results

You can also save it to a CSV file by clicking the link below the table…one thing to keep in mind is that the link is visible while the list is still getting built, so make sure that the full list has been generated before clicking the link.

I’ll write a follow-on post that walks through how I’ve been using this tool to help me find the most influential blogs when I’m researching a community that I’m not yet familiar with.

If you have any questions or suggestions, we’d love to hear from you!

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Another Free Tool to Help Build Outreach Lists

A couple of weeks ago, we released our first set of free link building tools, and we promised that more were on the way.  Shortly after announcing the tools, we started getting “you know what would be a cool tool” emails from our customers.  Well, one came up repeatedly…we liked the idea and so we rolled it out.

This new tool is pretty simple…paste in some HTML and it will generate a CSV file that includes each link in the HTML, the domain for each link and the anchor text.  There’s lots of ways you can use this, but I’ve found it particularly helpful for building outreach lists.  For example, suppose I’m trying to build a list of SEO bloggers for a campaign I come across TopRank’s Big list of SEM and SEO blogs.

TopRank Marketing Big List of SEO and SEM blogs

This is a great starting point for my list building, but manually cutting and pasting all 400 of these blogs into a spreadsheet would be a pain.  Instead, just do the following:

  • Select the content that includes the links you want
  • If you’re in firefox, right click and select ” View Selection.” In chrome, select “Inspect Element.”
  • Copy the text into text box in the “Extract Links” tool and click “Create CSV”

Now you have a CSV file that looks something like this:

Free link building tool - extract links from HTML

That’s all there is to it.  Once I have this list, the next step I’ll want to take is to collect information about each of these blogs to help me prioritize my efforts.  If you’re a BuzzStream subscriber, here are a couple of additional things you can do to help with this effort.

  • Import the file into BuzzStream. If you’re using projects, you might want to create a project that’s simply called “Opportunity Research.” If you’re not using projects, you can either include a tag in the import file or create a custom field.
  • Sort by metrics. BuzzStream will collect metrics for each domain and you can utilize this to help you prioritize them.  Once you’ve decided on the priority, select the contacts you want to prioritize and click “Edit>Overall Rating.”  The Rating will be set for all of these contacts at once.
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