Addiction, Promotion, and 360-Degree Video

Dear Brian,
What would happen if a grandma/pa suddenly became a heroin addict?

They’ve reached the “fuck it” point in their life. I would highly recommend talking to them and listening to what they have to say, because they’re probably going to be honest about all the things they really think about life.

We can learn a lot about life from listening to those who survived it longer than we have…

Dear Brian,
What are the most effective ways to promote blogs?

Especially when it comes to promoting them in readers and other places people read blog content, other than the reader itself?
You’re competing against not just other bloggers, but the entire world for people’s attention. In order to get their attention, you’re gonna have to earn it.Earning their attention is made more difficult by the fact everyone else is doing the same thing. When you build a blog, you’re competing against blogs that have teams of people working 24/7 writing content, creating pics/video, and layers of editing. You can’t compete with these teams of people as one single person, especially not blogging only once a week.

You need to think of yourself as a small business, and even though you’re only writing one blog a week, the other 6 days should be dedicated to marketing. You need to get people talking about your blog in order to spread your reach beyond your small circle of friends and family.

Engage with professionals and companies in any industry you write about. If you’re writing about food, start talking to chefs and restaurant owners, farmers, and distributors. Mention them and their companies/brands on your blog and link to them.

Start submitting your posts to aggregate services and guest post on other blogs. This is how rappers introduce themselves to bigger audiences and why you’ll always see a dozen of them on any given album.

When posting links on other sites, be sure to link back to your blog using descriptive anchor text. Instead of saying “click here” or “visit my blog,” hyperlink contextually like I post “delicious food recipes” on my blog. This lets search engines know your blog is about delicious food recipes instead of click here, which is just nonsensical.

Find out what professional conferences, expos, and trade shows exist in both blogging and the industry you blog about and start showing up. Contact everyone and hand out your business cards. This gets you on people’s minds. Not only that, you’ll be on the minds of influential people.

Stop listening to SEO snake-oil salesmen – they just spit out buzzwords and sell you on stupid ideas like “search engines think WordPress is more professional than BlogSpot.” No they don’t, and that’s an obvious tell that person can’t see the bigger picture.

Any blog platform has an equal chance in SEO, and they’re confusing the platform selection with the perception of a vanity URL, which can be done with any platform (or you can of course just host your own blog).

When you hear someone start spewing such inaccuracies or generalities like “quality content matters” without being able to explain to you exactly why, walk away. There’s a lot of bullshit in this industry. It’s marketing and everyone is trying to sell you something.

Dear Brian,
What is Facebook’s new “360” feature like?

How easy is it to use? What can it do?

It’s 360-degree video. What it is is video formatted for virtual reality. Facebook supports the video format because they own Oculus and believe VR is the future (and they’re right – Disney recently bought a VR company too, and every company at E3 had a VR platform).

Here’s a 360-degree camera:
Kodak SP360 with Explorer Accessory Pack 16 MP Digital Camera with 1x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 1-Inch LCD (Yellow)

Here’s a Facebook-exclusive 360-degree video of Star Wars: The Force Awakens: New ‘Star Wars: Force Awakens’ 360 Video That Is Neither A Trailer Nor A Clip

When you watch the video, you can click it with your mouse and drag the view any direction you want. Not that cool on a regular monitor, but on a VR headset, it translates to being able to look anywhere and still see the virtual reality.

No matter where you look in a 360-degree radius, you’ll be standing in the center of the action.

Imagine watching all those cool GoPro videos of skaters, bikers, skydivers, and more as though you were there with them. That’s virtual reality as it stands right now.

If you want to learn more about virtual reality, here’s a blog:

thoughtforyourpenny.com

Everything You Need to Know About Mobile Virtual Reality – Thought for Your Penny

Dear Brian,
I work online, my 90 days Schengen visa has expired and I need to move. The issue is that I have my dog, and many countries such as the UK have restrictions for animals. I am Canadian. Where should I go next?

Whatever you decide, next time you’re on the American west coast, hit me up. I kinda cyberstalked you for a quick minute, and you intrigue me. Bring your dog! ;P

Brian Penny Gas MaskBrian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. His work has appeared in High Times, Huffington Post, Fast Company, The Street, and Hardcore Droid.

Versability

Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer.

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