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Friday, March 6, 2015

How I Got 152 Pinterest Followers in 27 Days

Less than 4 weeks ago I had just 23 followers on Pinterest. Today I have 175. That's a net gain of 152 followers in 27 days. Let me show you how I did it.

First of all, I'm a big believer in stealing (maybe "borrowing" is a better word) marketing ideas from other people and applying them to my own summer camp marketing.

So I looked around at some of the big players on Pinterest -- those people and companies in my niche (kids, moms, camp, etc). who had a ridiculously large number of followers compared to most other people out there -- to see what commonalities they shared.

It didn't take long till I discovered that many of these people didn't just have tons tons of followers, they followed tons of people (and companies) themselves

Ah ha! 
So here's what I did. I came up with this theory that if I just started following boatloads of people who were remotely interested in the same things I am, they'd start following me back in droves. I decided to put this theory into practice and test whether it would work or not.

So what I did was, I started following more and more (and MORE!) people every day on Pinterest with the hope they'd follow me back.

It worked! I started getting many new follwers each day. And I keep getting them all the time. Just today I got 6 new Pinterest followers already.

Now even though my theory worked, I felt like I needed to fine-tune the details.

I did that by playing around Pinterest on my own here and there, and watching about 20 or 25 "How to get More Followers on Pinterest" videos to see if I could get any ideas.

So guess what I did for you? Out of the 25 videos I watched, I hand-picked the VERY BEST ONE to share with you.

Not only is this guy funny and entertaining, he describes an exact step-by-step process for how to get more followers on Pinterest.

Please trust me on this.

Watch this video a few times, then do EXACTLY what this guy says to do, and bingo, your Pinterest followers will start to grow immediately -- that's my guarantee to you. Have fun!

Summer Camp Email Marketing Poll

Have you taken our new email marketing poll on Facebook? Which email marketing program do you prefer?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

STILL Don't Have a Mobile-Friendly Website? G-Day is Almost Here

For Those Camp's Who Didn't Heed My Warnings About Making Your Website Mobile-Friendly, G-(Google) Day is April 21

Many camp directors are freaking out about Google's announcement that non-mobile-friendly websites are about to get hammered in the search results starting April 21.

This should come as no surprise. I've been preaching for years about the importance of building a mobile-friendly site. The reason why is because Google's #1 goal has always been to provide the most relevant search results and best user experience possible.

Well guess what?

If your website forces users to pinch their screens or scroll horizontally just to use your site, or widen it by hand just to tap a link, that means your website is not optimized for mobile...and THAT means you are making it difficult on Google to provide relevant search results and good experience for users. So consider yourself warned (again). If you don't make the appropriate adjustments to your website by April 21 you could get punished in Google's search results, end of story.

Why is this such a big deal and how do we know it?

Because Google has actually warned us about it and has given a firm 6-week notice to come into compliance. Google publicly said two days ago this update to its algorithm, which will reward mobile-friendly websites, will significantly impact its search results. Compare this to Google's hummingbird update, which they didn't even mention until a month or so after the fact; if Google is going out of its way to give advance warning now, you better take notice.

Don't say I didn't warn you. I've been telling you this day's been coming for years.

The list goes on. But even if you ignored my warnings, now that Google has spoken it's imperative you comply. Google prefers websites that work seamlessly across all platforms, and now they're officially doing something about it.

The Difference Between the Two Types of Mobile Friendly Websites

For the purposes of this article, there are two ways to make your desktop mobile friendly. You can make a "mobile website" or a "responsive website."

Mobile Websites

 If you decide to go this route, then you will end up with two websites, one that is optimized for desktop and one that's optimized for mobile. Since you will have two websites you will also have two domain names. For example, your desktop site's domain may be, and your mobile website's domain will be (the "m" stands for mobile.) When users log on to your desktop site, they will be redirected to your mobile website from a little script you add into your desktop's HTML code.

Going this route may be OK in Google's eyes, but probably not as good as good building a responsive website instead.

Responsive Websites

Google recommends responsive websites. A responsive site is adopts to any device of any size, no matter if it's a desktop, iphone, ipad, android tablet, anything. Mobile websites don't typically do that -- they generally only display correctly on phones. Bottom line, if you are short on time, money and other resources you may only have the resources to build a mobile website now and deal with a responsive site later as building responsive sites may entail an entire website redesign or overhall.

Bottom line, you are better off with a mobile-specific site than desktop-only site, and probably better off with a responsive site than either of the other two. Here's a good article on the difference between a mobile website and a responsive one. Bear in mind this article came out 6 months ago, long before Google's announcement last week.

If We Don't Have a Mobile Optimized Site What Should We Do Now?

Don't panic. You still have 6 weeks. That should be enough time to make any needed improvements to your website. But don't just sit around and do nothing. The writing's on the wall. If you are ranking highly in Google's search results now but your site isn't mobile-friendly by April 21, the punishment could be severe and you may lose the search result ranking you've worked so hard to achieve.

Obviously late winter and spring is not the ideal time for camps to undertake unplanned (and unbudgeted) projects like redoing websites. That's a fall project for us. But it's pointless to sit around worrying. You have to act fast, but not so fast you make a mistake. (In most areas in life I take the postilion that if you're unsure of what to do, do nothing and the right decision will come to you soon enough. Not this time though...) 

Here's what I suggest if you don't have the time or resources to retrofit your website: Increase your Google adwords budget (or open an account if you don't have one) and do a LOT more online advertising.  Even if your organic search result rankings get squashed, at least this approach allows you to buy yourself some time and bridge the gap between now and when you're able to address your mobile optimized website delimena while still showing up Google's search results anyway.

If you need ideas for how to prepare let me know in the comments.  Let me know if you need help. There's more solutions out there than you think or I've addressed here. Just take care of it before G-Day. Good luck!