Guest Posting and Link Building: My Warning

Warnings of who is asking to guest post

On Thursday 25th May 2017 Matt G Southern a well-known and respected writer at the Search Engine Journal published the article “Google Issues a Warning About Guest Posting to Build Links“.

I began to read the article hoping that an issue that happened to me recently would be mentioned, but it wasn’t.  This article is also a warning, but of a different kind when accepting guests posts onto your website for the purpose of forming genuine, respectful links.

However, as already stated in the published post by Matt Southern, the posts can be misleading and the links are in fact spammy.  This was what was quoted yesterday directly from Google.

Google has issued a warning to remind site owners about the dangers of publishing content on other sites for the purpose of building inbound links.

The company doesn’t frown on guest posts or syndicated posts in general, but lately there has been an increase in spammy links stuffed into these types of posts. That’s the reason behind this sudden warning from Google.

Distributing content on a large scale when the main intention is to build links back to your own site is strictly prohibited under Google’s guidelines on link schemes.

But what if there is another reason that people are approaching small businesses to guest post?  I, from experience, can tell you there is.

Is Guest Posting What it Seems?

I have been approached by email on several occasions over the years I have had my website asking if I accept guest posts.  Surprised at this as Virtuadmin.uk to be perfectly honest doesn’t have a tremendous amount of traffic, so together with other SEO (search engine optimisation) publishing guests posts is an ideal way to gain genuine backlinks to improve my SERPs results myself.

The person that contacted me introduced themselves to me as a “Content Writer & Editor” full of praise for my website and to quote in their opening statement “I am a business content writer and I chanced upon virtuadmin.uk“.

I am no website designer, personally, I feel that my website is somewhat amateurish but enjoy the challenges of attempting to improve it to what I consider a professional standard (not there yet but trying!); I am not a website designer but an experienced touch typist and transcriptionist!

Emails were sent back and forth, not very frequently, once every two weeks or so.  They would send an email to say they were working on my article and would email once it was ready for review and any edits I would like.

When the final article came back, I read through it very impressed, suggested some edits to the post, which were duly done.

In the meantime of waiting for the finished article to come back and then be published on this website, I decided to do a bit of research into the person that had contacted me.  I usually do this when I get requests to accept guest posts or infographics.

My Shock

I was horrified to discover the person that had initially contacted, maintained communications with me so professionally, written such a brilliant post I couldn’t wait to publish it, was my biggest competitor. 

Just to be sure of my facts, I looked for information on the person on the professional alternative to Facebook, LinkedIn and Tweeted the company directly to ask if they had a content writer of that name, to which they replied they had and gave me their email address!

This company did not just provide the service in the niche area that I am working solo as a transcriptionist and typist, but many other types of administration duties that can be outsourced and carried out online.  They are very established, very large.  In my mind, if someone chanced upon the article upon my website, I always reference guest post at the beginning, therefore technically I would have been sending business to them.

Personally, I just can’t help wondering for a company so large why are they trying to take out small-time work-from-home Mums like myself?  It’s not just that, why the underhanded way in which they approached me, not even volunteering the information of who they worked for as a Content Writer and Editor!

My Warning and Advice

My warning to anyone that is trying to genuine improve their website rankings without the budget of hiring SEO experts or other tactical ways of achieving page one on Google SERPs, if you are approached out of the blue, just like I was, be polite, the might be genuine but check them out.

How?  Firstly, Google or Bing is a great start.  If it is a common name like the person I was researching, narrow the results down with the details you have.  Location, their job, email address, alternatively LinkedIn.

Even with minimal information, I only had a name, email address and job title, for example, but believe me, you can research the person concerned, you can find out who they are that has contacted you to make this request it.

Hopefully, unlike my unfortunate experience, they are equally a small-time business or stay-at-home Mum or Entrepreneur looking to make genuine backlinks because you share a common niche area.

 

 

 

 

An easy account of how important transcripts are for videos

Using video in your content marketing strategy is being talked about everywhere today.  People are not searching for a product or service online via their desktops or laptops as much as they once were, mobile phones, phablets and tablets have advanced so much these are quickly becoming the most popular devices to view videos, especially via social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.

Videos can be used in a variety of ways; short explainer videos, adding one in an email, embedding one on your website's landing page.  They are a great way of driving traffic to your website where potential buyers of your product or service get to explore what you have to offer even more.

With video broadcasting becoming more and more popular it is projected to claim more than 80% of website traffic in 2019, so the question is how do you get your video to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) above everyone else's?

The answer is a transcript.

To help everyone who is considering the use of video in their marketing plan, or maybe just starting out, for remembering how important it is to add an accurate transcript, I have designed and created an infographic acronym please see it below.

Acronym of Transcripts
Transcripts are important for video marketing search engine optimization (Background image by Freepik the acronym was created by Virtuadmin.uk)

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Designed by Freepik

 

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How To Increase Your Video SEO The Affordable Way

Video Marketing SEO The Affordable Way

With social video and video marketing becoming one of the most powerful ways to engage your audience, the digital landscape has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. 

Digitalisation and technology have become less expensive than it once was.  In today’s digital world you don’t necessarily need to contract a professional video producer.  Today’s modern technology allows you very simply to create a marketing video yourself, upload it to a video hosting platform like YouTube or Vimeo to name just a couple, plan your marketing strategy and off you go.

Marketers, Entrepreneurs, businesses, anybody making a video with the intention of marketing their brand, service or product to an audience, it is 100% essential to create and upload an accurate transcript for enhanced SEO and accessibility for the hearing impaired.  Something else Google will think highly of your video for.

In a recent post by leading marketing agency Marketo, last month published a post on essential SEO tips for videos.  Number 1 recommendation on their list of ‘5 SEO Tips for Videos‘ was “Transcribe Your Video Content”.

Nate the author of the post explains “providing both a video and transcription on a single page offers dual benefits: it caters to different reader preferences, and it makes video content more likely to appear in general Google searches.”  He goes on to say “full transcripts provide more engagement SEO opportunities“.

By adding an accurate text document, either a full transcription or providing text highlights (as described in the article on the Marketo blog), the transcript will create closed captions (subtitles).  Search engine crawler bots cannot see visual images or hear the speech, they rely solely on the readable text.

Unless you add an additional transcript bots only have the information you input in the title, subtitle, description in the metadata.  That is until you upload your video transcript to the hosting platform of your choice.

Automatic captions are not indexed

Yes, the video hosting platform will most probably automatically create subtitles/captions, however, Google (and other search engines) do not index them, which they do need to be to appear in search engine results pages. Closed captions (subtitles) ‘auto-captions’ are not considered accurate enough to rely on for indexing purposes.

So if your video doesn’t get crawled and indexed, your ranking will not be that great.  This is because there is so little information about the content.  The only source of information that they can reliably use is the basic title, subtitle, content of the video within meta tags.

If search engine crawlers cannot index your marketing video, for example, it will not get found, this is not the desired result.  It is also an issue that you do not need when it’s for business or entrepreneurial intentions.

Why add a transcript?

Adding an external transcript of the speech content is a huge asset, it enables search engine bots to read the text and:-

  1.  Find your page, crawl it and know the content is good quality content
  2.  Index it accurately accordingly
  3.  Keywords tied to your niche subject area are naturally spoken and will occur regularly within the transcript

Here are a few statistics to help you understand exactly how popular video marketing has become in recent years.  Courtesy of Buffer, from their comprehensive post of ‘50 Video Marketing Statistics to Help You Create a Winning Social Media Strategy in 2017‘ states “Captions on Facebook video ads increase video view time by an average of 12%.

If that is on Facebook Ads alone, what would it do for your video marketing efforts by adding a transcript; how much extra view time would that generate for your product or service?

Case Study (3playmedia.com)

Digital Discovery Networks performed a study that proves captions on YouTube videos boost SEO and increase views by 13.48% in the first 2 weeks and 7.32% overall. To test this, they searched for a keyword phrase that was present only in their video captions, not in the title, description, tags, or metadata.

Video transcription does not have to be expensive

Ultimately adding a captions file in the form of a transcript is the right way to increase your video ranking in SERPs (search engine results pages) increasing customer views, there are few ways you can do this.

  •  Create the text document yourself
  •  Outsource to a video captioning service (expensive)
  •  Outsource to a freelance transcriptionist (affordably)

Creating the text document yourself

If you are fairly quick at typing this can be the most economical option for you, it won’t cost you anything!  However, there are factors such as the length of the video, how man speakers, when you ideally would like it to be completed for, that determine if you can indeed produce the captions file quick enough.

Also, without transcribing software and a transcribing foot pedal, it is not so easy to go back and replay a couple of seconds to replay what was said if you missed it the first time.  This can eventually lead to frustration and time delays, something you do not need or want.

Outsource to a transcription/video captioning service

With the growing popularity of video marketing, so has the demand for video transcription.  With higher demand comes higher costs and no shortage of online digital transcription vendors specifically available to transcribe the speech from the spoken content within your video.

Unfortunately, however, these providers do have overheads if their staff are on-site office based.  If this is not the case, they operate purely via the internet, they still have overheads to take in consideration that they obviously need to factor into their fees when contracting out their specialist services.

This can be expensive and unaffordable, especially if you are a start-up, solopreneur/entrepreneur, self-employed and working from home, that are just a few examples.  You are trying to obtain the best professional service with the outcome of an accurate transcript with the least expenditure.

Outsource to a freelance transcriptionist

This is ‘How To Increase Your Video SEO The Affordable Way’.

There are some excellent freelancing websites out there today full of talented people waiting to provide their professional services at a fraction of the cost, transcription and video captioning is no different.  It is ultimately a risk-free way to get your video transcribed into text that you can then go on to use as a captions file.

How is it risk-free?  If you order the service of a transcriber via a freelance website you will deposit funds for their services into a holding account, such as Escrow, for example.  When the work is completed, delivered and you are happy, you pay them the funds.  If the worst happened and the transcript wasn’t delivered to you or it was totally unsatisfactory and not fit for its purpose, then it is simple to either hire someone else or ask for a refund.

Finding the right freelance transcriptionist can be time-consuming, invaluable when you find one.  As a freelance typist/transcriptionist here at Virtuadmin, over 20 years experience transcribing audio and video, a video up to 15 minutes in length, with a single speaker, would cost just £10 to transcribe and send in a text (.txt) file format.  This is how affordable video SEO can be. 

Other formats for closed caption files are available, however, from experience in captioning and uploading text (.txt) files to YouTube, I know this format works extremely well at automatically syncing the speech with the text.

Conclusion

If you are or planning to use video as a promotional tool for your brand, product or service, how is your video going to be found amongst the millions without a transcript? 

The only way to be sure of optimising your video for SEO the affordable way is either type it yourself into a text document or outsource to an experienced transcriber, like me at Virtuadmin, with the relevant equipment to deliver exactly what you need.

Transcripts are a great investment too, especially from a marketing perspective.  Once you have your document there are other alternatives ways to utilise it.  See my infographic ‘9 Ways to Use Your Audio Transcript’ for other instances to capitalise on your investment of a transcript.

Have you got any questions about video captions for SEO?  Please do not hesitate to get in touch, I would be happy to answer queries you may have.

 

 

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How to Run A Business While Travelling For Six Months Every Year

How to Run A Business While Travelling

Thank you to Start Blogging Online for their guest post/infographic on Virtuadmin.

A lot of successful business owners would suggest that running your business while far from your actual business location is effective. Even if you are far away, you can still keep things running. It is just a matter of time management and division of tasks.

As the owner, you can make major decisions or think of creative ways to boost your business. You can leave someone to manage the day to day activities in your store. The point is for you to not get burnt out. If you are affected by the pressure of running the business well, everything else could fall apart.

Making the business work while you are away is easy. The difficult part is being away from your family. Of course, you can’t bring them with you. They also have to go to school or work. To solve this problem, divide your time within the year.

Perhaps, you can spend 6 months away from home and 6 months at home. This also helps you manage the business in different locations. While you are home, make the most of your time and spend it with the people you love. Make up for the time that you are away from home.

Just be positive. It can be done. It is even easier than running the business on location at all times. For more tips on how to make it possible, check out the infographic below. It provides useful information that you can also try.

How to Run A Business While Traveling For Six Months Every Year

How to Save Valuable Time When Looking For a Transcriber

How to save time for your audio transcription
Save Time when you need a transcriber

Do you regularly use freelance portals like People Per Hour, Fivesquid and Fiverr to name a few of the platforms out there, to economically outsource your audio or video transcription requirements? Then read on there is important information inside!

As a freelancer offering very reasonably priced professional typing and transcription services, I visit daily the freelance platforms that I have active profiles on to search for assignments with potential clients that I can assist with in their typing or transcription projects.

It takes up a lot of my time, but frequently time after time that frustrates the hell out of me, to be honest, is the fact that businesses, entrepreneurs, students, or anyone that requires outsourcing to a transcription service, fail to put four important things that matter most to a transcriptionist: –

  1. Audio quality
  2. Number of speakers
  3. Length of the Audio
  4. Turnaround time/deadline

Quite often people needing audio or video transcribed are under the impression that touch typists can type at the rate of speech, and therefore as an example, a 20-minute audio recording would take a professionally trained transcriptionist, like me, 20 minutes to transcribe into text.  This is in fact not the case, please see my post and Infographic Audio Transcription Time Guidelines for more insight on this.

What Is Not Helpful

This is a typical example that I see day after day when people are advertising to get their audios or videos transcribed into text.

Time saving tips when advertising for a transcription service

This example is better than some, it describes the length of the audio which is a good start, the format they would like the transcript in, which is generally Word anyway unless the transcript it being used for video captioning.

But, this example does not state how many speakers the audio contains, or the quality of the audio.  These two factors will determine combined with the other two points highlighted above, the time it will take to listen and type the recorded speech into text.  There are other factors also, for instance, if it is a two-speaker audio is there a lot of cross-talking?  Are there any additional requirements within the transcript required, time-stamping for example.

Advice on Best Practices

When advertising for a transcription service vendor, or freelance transcriptionist, it is always best practice to give as much information as possible about the audio.  To get the best transcriber for the job, it would be very helpful attach a sample, or the audio itself, but this isn’t always possible for confidentiality reasons.

By doing this it saves the transcription provider time from having to contact you asking these basic transcription questions that they need to ascertain whether they wish to submit a proposal for the work or not.  Advertising the basic details, audio quality, the number of speakers, length and desired deadline, transcription service providers know what they are applying for.

You, as the contractor of transcription services then do not get delayed with your transcription, especially important when you have a deadline to meet.  It will prevent your service provider telling you they cannot fulfil their part of the agreement because of incorrect or missing details about your specifications.  It saves time for both parties concerned and speeds up the whole process with the transcriptionist having a clear understanding of the audio content from the outset.

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5 SEO Tips for Videos: How Google Ranks Them & How to Optimize

Videos are becoming increasingly important for B2B marketing. Companies with dedicated video marketing strategies generate more leads, earn more revenue, and enjoy better brand awareness than those engaging in all other forms of marketing.

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are great places to get eyes on your video content, but prospects aren’t necessarily in work- or buy-mode as they scroll through these platforms.

We do know, however, that 90% of B2B decision-makers use search to research business decisions. To reap the benefits of video marketing, your videos must be optimised for search. By following a few best practices for video SEO, you’ll enjoy more visible video search results and drive more organic traffic—and qualified leads—to your video content.

How Does Google Rank Videos?

In its general search and video search functions, Google ranks videos using the same ranking factors as written content—content quality, the number of backlinks, and RankBrain are the most important signals. When hosting videos on your site, the tasks for optimizing video content are similar to those for written content and images.

Similar, but not identical. Here are five steps you should take to improve your search rankings so your videos stand out in search results:

1. Transcribe Your Video Content

Providing both a video and transcription on a single page offers dual benefits: it caters to different reader preferences, and it makes video content more likely to appear in general Google searches.

Video transcriptions can be optimized for search in the same way as any other text-based site content. While this may seem to break duplicate content rules, transcriptions actually provide a good user experience by catering to different learning styles. While some visitors may prefer videos, others may prefer reading. In fact, 85% of business executives prefer reading over watching videos when making business decisions.

When transcribing video content, there are two approaches you can take:

  1. Provide a full, word-for-word transcription as Moz does for their Whiteboard Friday videos.
  2. Provide text highlights like Content Marketing Institute does for their This Old Marketing podcast.

Full transcripts provide more engagement SEO opportunities, while highlights are good for long videos and can encourage more views by teasing readers with compelling content that’s discussed in more detail in the video. Ultimately, use the approach your audience prefers: you can poll them to find out, or do some A/B testing to see which approach drives the kind of engagement you’re looking for.

Read the remaining 4 more tips for video optimisation on Marketo Marketing Blog.

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5 Secrets to Increase Your Typing Productivity and Speed

Type more accurately with speed
Type more accurately with speed
5 Secrets to Increase your Typing Productivity and Speed

A transcriptionist or typist is often involved in repetitive work and meeting very tight deadlines.  A typist is either looking at the text to be copy-typed or a transcriptionist listening to recorded speech and typing the text spoken.  When undertaking the transcription or typing process, there are things that you can do to help you obtain better productivity, efficiency and accuracy.

As a touch-typist and transcriptionist with over 20 years experience, to help you achieve a higher capacity in the production of transcripts or copy typing text, I will give you my top 5 secrets to increase your typing productivity and speed.

  1. 5 Secrets to Increase Your Typing Productivity and Speed
    Picture courtesy of Cornell University Ergonomics

    Before starting any work at all prepare your workstation to the correct ergonomics for your stature.  Preferably work with an ergonomic keyboard too.  This is a picture of the ideal workstation set-up to prevent any strains on your joints through repetitive typing work.

2.  Take regular and frequent breaks.  I personally like to take a break from typing or transcription every 20 minutes for 5 minutes.  Recommendations by the University of New South Wales in Australia also recommend taking breaks every 20-30 minutes, if only for 2-3 minutes.  This gives you chance to stretch, give your eyes and ears a break too.  Even after just a couple of minutes not listening to someone speak, or looking at the text to be typed, is enough to recharge and carry on more productively.

3.  If you are a transcriptionist and using specialist software, such as Express Scribe Professional, make sure everything is set-up correctly and to your specification.  Test your foot pedal is ready to use to what you are used to.  When I am transcribing I like to have it set to jump 5 seconds back for if I don’t catch what the person said the first time round.  Listen to the first few minutes of the audio and adjust the replay speed according to your typing speed and the rate of speech that is being spoken.  Check there is no background noise, if there is, some software players have ‘background noise reduction’ feature such as Express Scribe Professional.  Alternatively, if that hasn’t had an effect or has helped but not cleared the audio up completely try an online converter such as www.online-convert.com.  I have found from past experience that converting an audio can sometimes help clear any background or interference noise.  If it is not in a mp3 format I will always convert an audio into the mp3 format and then perform the background noise reduction feature again.

4.  Check with your client the purpose of the transcript.  If you are transcribing a video it may be prudent to produce the transcript in a text (.txt) file and not a word document if it is being used for closed captions.  Syncing the speech with the text is much easier.  If it is to be produced in a Word document utilise the auto-correct and find/replace if you need to perform several replacements of a word.

5.  Ask your client for the names involved in the audio or how they would like them referred to in the transcript if more than one speaker.  Before commencing also enquire as to whether there is any specialist terminology you should be aware of, and/or any websites that may help with research if you cannot quite make out the word.

So there are my five secrets to help you type more accurately and transcribe more productively.  Even taking regular breaks may seem like it is time you could be transcribing, as many transcriptionists have to work to tight deadlines.  This may feel the case, but in reality, because you have taken even just 2 minutes away from listening, you will return to your keyboard and foot pedal and type more productively because of it.  From many years experience working from work as a typist and transcriptionist, I know that frequent breaks and the correct ergonomics, preferably with an ergonomic keyboard too, are instantly going to help you be more productive and complete the work much quicker.

Please don’t hesitate to use the ‘contact me’ form if you would like to ask any questions about transcription, typing or my virtual assistant services that I can offer.

 

 

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What is a .srt file and how to create one free

How to create a .srt file
What is a .srt file and how to create one

A .srt file is a common name for the extension SubRip computer files and a commonly used file format for subtitles or closed captions on videos.  The benefit of using a .srt file is that when it is added to a video to create the captions it enables search engine crawler bots to index your video more accurately due to the additional text file.

Although automatic captions are generated and all videos that contain speech when uploaded, Google and all other search engines do not consider them accurate enough to use as reliable information about your video content.

How to create a .srt file

Creating a .srt file to add to your video is quite easy and involves six easy steps.  These 6 steps are taken from a post by Andrew Meer on Techwalla

Step 1

Open Notepad by clicking “Start,” “All Programs,” “Accessories” and “Notepad.”

Step 2

Divide each subtitle phrase into numbered sections when creating an SRT file. Type “1” (without quotes) and then press “Enter” to start creating the first subtitle phrase.

Step 3

Enter the time span to display the subtitle phrase when playing the movie. For example, if you want the first subtitle phrase to be displayed from the second minute to the third minute of the movie, type “00:02:00 –> 00:03:00” (without quotes) and press “Enter.”

Step 4

Type the subtitle phrase and press “Enter” to finish creating the first subtitle phrase.

Step 5

Type “2” (without quotes) for the second subtitle phrase and follow steps 3 and 4 to create the second subtitle phrase. Do the same for the other subtitle phrases that you want to create, but ensure that you separate the subtitle phrases into numbered sections.

Step 6

Save the file in the SRT file format after you finish creating it. To do so, click “Start” and then click “Save.” Select “All Files” from the “Save as type” drop-down menu. Next, type a name into “File name” field and type “.srt” (without quotes) after it. Click “Save.”

Conclusion – Outsource?

Depending on the length of your video, podcast, or webinar depends on the length of time it will take to actually produce the transcript to add to your video.  Outsourcing the creation of the transcript process may well be worth considering.

At Virtuadmin I have created many transcripts for closed captioning purposes.  If you would like to hire me to quickly create your transcript please get in touch at cyberspaceayuda@gmail.com.  Alternatively, I have active freelancer profiles on People Per Hour and Fiverr and would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the process.

 

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What is a smartphone virtual assistant and how to use one

What is a Smartphone Virtual Assistant and how to use one
Image credit: http://wccftech.com

What is a smartphone virtual assistant?  This is the question that immediately popped into my mind when I started reading the article ‘How Do People Use Virtual Assistants on Their Smartphones?’

As a virtual assistant, I immediately presumed the worst, digital technology is automating more of the services I offer virtually.  I was relieved to read further and discover that actually, a smartphone virtual assistant, or defined on Wikipedia as an ‘Intelligent personal assistant’, are satisfying users in their search for information. 

Another key aspect of an intelligent personal assistant is its ability to organise and maintain information, making it quick and easy to access.

A search for information by text or voice command, answered by a software agent via your smartphone is a smartphone virtual assistant.  But they can also be used for other things, not just answering questions, listening to and downloading music, reading books. 

Google Now, Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Samsung S-voice are all virtual assistants that are currently being underutilised in the new technological world.  Digital virtual assistants on our desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones are there to instantly help and assist.

E-Marketer attributing this to the generation of the which the users come from and their reasons for using them are different.  Taken from E-Marketer’s post on the 17th February 2017 the reasons and generations are:-

Millennials were most likely to manage alarms, play music, play audiobooks and search for movie times.

Gen Xers were most likely to look up someone’s phone number, search for a song playing on the radio, create a shopping list and check news headlines.

Baby boomers tended to use smartphone virtual assistants to play voicemail messages, look up measurement conversions, search calendar events and discover recipes.

Although the statistics in the article, based on an American survey by Higher Visibility SEO company, found that 28.7% still do not use smartphone virtual assistants.

So the next time you get out your smartphone here are just a few of the more customary search queries conducted via these assistants that you can perform, including requests to play music, manage alarms, find a weather forecast, search for a contact’s phone number or ask a fun question, the era of smarter smartphones is upon us!

In the meantime, if you smartphone virtual assistant can’t help you with those laborious tasks such as typing, or replying to emails, get a human virtual assistant such as Virtuadmin, where you can chat directly with me to discuss your virtual assistant requirements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Grow Your Podcast Audience with Transcription Services

Grow your podcast audience
Transcription Services Assist Podcasters

Podcasts are a great way to connect your audio (or video) content into the public sphere, it is not just about music these days.  If you are a business, for example,  if it is quite a specialised niche, this can be a great way to get your product or service noticed, holding regular podcasts online or distributing regular content via this medium.  This new way of communication can gain valuable new customers and increase relevant traffic to your website.

Currently, most who are familiar with podcast hosting are technically savvy, but it is clear that podcasting will be more than a passing fad as many businesses are adopting podcasting and employing it in unusual yet powerful ways. Podcasting can be used for talk shows, tutorials, music demos, educational training, stories, comedy clips, debates or even foreign language tutorials.¹

Not only is podcasting a type of advertising, it gives you more visibility for your niche subject.  It also has great SEO (search engine optimisation) benefits too. Listeners will visit your website to listen to your podcast or download it.  For them to find it in the first place, your podcast has to be optimised for it to rank highly and be found.

Transcription Services

Podcasts can vary in their format but usually are delivered in audio, video, PDF and ePub formats.  Luckily, all of these formats can very easily and economically have a transcript produced and uploaded to them, further increasing the SEO of your website, therefore more visitors seeing and listening to your podcasts.

A freelance transcriptionist like myself here at Virtuadmin or transcription vendors can all assist in the process of creating your accurate text document that acts as a transcript to upload to your podcast.

By hiring a transcription service to transcribe your podcast content into text will boost your reach as it is supporting content that you want to be exposed to search engines for indexing.  By uploading your transcript that is by the nature of the transcribed content will be keyword rich, to your podcast, search engine bots can accurately index it, increasing your search engine results pages for that particular niche search.

Show Notes

When you are getting higher results, more visitors and listeners, you could then move on a step further with the text content you have invested in from your transcriptionist or transcription service.  You could:-

  • Brief synopsis of the episode
  • Turn the transcript into show-notes with time-stamps and sub-headings
  • Offer the transcript in its original form to listeners
  • Create key takeaways
  • Create slide presentations
  • Get ideas for checklists and worksheets

Once you have the transcript all the bulleted points above can be produced easily.  Ask your transcription service if they can assist, as they are transcribing the content.  Ask for your transcript to be time-stamped and specify the regularity.  If you don’t have the time to create presentations, key takeaways, checklists or worksheets your transcriptionist may be able to assist or outsource to a Virtual Assistant like me at Virtuadmin.  Freelancers and virtual assistants are a fantastic way of getting a professional job done without incurring the high expense!

If you don’t have the time to create presentations, key takeaways, checklists or worksheets your transcriptionist / virtual assistant may be able to assist, like me at Virtuadmin.  Freelancers and virtual assistants are a fantastic way of getting a professional job done without incurring the high expense!

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9 Top Reasons to Add a Transcript to Your Video

Reasons to Add a Transcript to Your Video

Top marketing professionals have voiced their opinions of YouTube Marketing for this coming year, 2017. 

In an article written by Lisa. D. Jenkins, in Social Media Today, where the Pros have made their predictions in what they think will happen to video marketing.  Although they are talking about YouTube, the second biggest search engine to Google, it is largely about video marketing for businesses and the marketing direction it could take.

These are all valid predictions, YouTube is a great way for increasing visibility of your product or service, and love when these predictions come out in the early parts of the year, this year being no different.

The 9 Top YouTube Predictions for 2017 by the Pros are:-

  1. YouTube Solidifies Its Social Network Status

  2. YouTube Explores Long-form Television-style Content

  3. YouTube Channels Embrace Quality Over Quantity

  4. YouTube Integrates Third-party Software to Improve Broadcast Quality

  5. YouTube Marketers Focus on Educational Content Delivery

  6.  Influencer Marketing Evolves Into Exclusive Partnership Programming on YouTube

  7. Increased Socialisation Features Improve YouTube Engagement

  8. YouTube Promotes Longer Engagement Views

  9. YouTube Improves Social Features for Creators and Fans

With statistics in 2016 for the total number of hours of video watched being 3.25 billion, combined with the vital fact that YouTube and other video hosting platforms do not index videos with automatically generated captions.

What does this mean for marketers, entrepreneurs and anyone else wishing to utilise the power of video marketing on YouTube and such like?  Upload a transcript in the format of a text (.txt) file to your video.Video search engine bots, just like Google crawler bots that are curious about your content and how to index it, therefore getting higher search engine rankings, cannot read images, GIFs or hear the audio speech.  What the SEO bots rely on when the post is not in a contextual format, is text, tags, meta and other more in-depth search engine strategies.

YouTube search engine bots, just like Google crawler bots that are curious about your content and how to index it, therefore getting higher search engine rankings, cannot read images, GIFs or hear the audio speech in that video.  What the SEO bots rely on when the post is not in a readable text format containing keywords, tags, meta and other more in-depth search engine strategies.

In number 3 on the predictions list, YouTube embraces quality over quantity, adding an additional transcript immediately tells YouTube about your content, therefore giving it a higher quality rating over others that have no transcript at all.

Number 5 on the predictions list, ‘YouTube Marketers Focus on Educational Content Delivery’ expert Zontee Hou’s prediction, explained “instead of the 30-second video demos of recipes that have taken over Facebook, success on YouTube will require companies to create 1- to 5-minute in-depth demos, courses, and series that answer the viewers’ questions”.

So for educational content that you want to be visible to everyone, even if it is 5 minutes long, you could add a transcript to it for just £5 if you are paying in Sterling, or $5 if paying in United States Dollars.

With The total number of people who use YouTube – 1,300,000,000 and over 30 million visitors per day, can you afford not to add a transcript?

If you have any questions at all about how to add a transcript, how to create one, or about my video transcription service, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

 

 

 

 

 

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What does a copy typist do and what is copy typing?

What does a copy typist do?
What does a copy typist do?

The history of printing and the ability to imprint and the use of seals goes back to the early times of Mesopotamian civilisation before 3000 BCE.

After the initial printing process got developed over the ages came handwriting experts and then advancing to manually operated machines to produce printed characters onto paper.  This mechanical device was a typewriter and naturally followed the development of quick typing method, known as ‘touch typing’ by Frank Edward McGurrin in 1888.

typewriter home keys fingers
Touch typing home keys for a typist’s fingers

Typewriters increased the speed of producing documents, letters, and other important reading material at that time.  Learning to touch type meant that you could get a job and earn a living wage.  Many businesses were using these devices and required touch-typists to produce letters and documents.

 

 

Even though typewriters are no longer used in this advanced technological age, computers and word processors are now used. The good news is that doesn’t necessarily put the touch-typist out of a job.  It just means a readjustment to this new era and way of working.  A copy typist can undertake data entry, online secretarial tasks, audio and video transcription, virtual assistant and many other duties that can be performed online via the internet, our new ‘typewriting and communication’ tool of the 21st century, our modern, new age technology!

As a copy typist, what is it that I do?

As a copy typist, that is literally what I do!  Any type of English text, I copy type.  However, is it usually of non-original digital format, and can be faded or of poor quality. 

Original documents that I have been asked to transcribe into an editable text has comprised of a variety of texts.  I’ve successfully transcribed a unique dot matrix printed 250-page fictional book; religious newspaper articles that were written by E. W. Kenyon; handwritten notes for recipes and other non-digital scanned documents.

Because some out-dated texts, documents, reports, contracts, books and such like have been kept from before the computer age.  Now people are looking back on these and now wanting them to be digitalised.  Or they have found a useful document that they would like to edit but cannot do so because it is not in an editable format. 

PDF’s are a popular request to be copy-typed, simply because they can easily be converted into a Word document, but the software to carry out the process is expensive and generally it is more economical for businesses or individuals to seek the services of a freelance typist, like me, here at Virtuadmin.  I provide my typing and transcription skills through trusted and reputable freelance websites such as People Per Hour and Fiverr.  When printed or scanned documents are requested to be copied, wherever possible, I try to keep the same font, font colour, underlining, page set-up, and any other details.

It is now commonplace for businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals to seek these and other types of online freelance services as mentioned above.  Your money is protected through the website you using to hire/contract the typist, and any non-delivery enables you to get a refund.  Therefore, sometimes it is simply just more economical, quicker and easier to use them than buy software or programs that you may not be able to understand or use, let alone have a lot of use for after your initial conversion project is completed. 

What is my method of working?

A common question I frequently get asked is ‘do I manually type the text or use a text converter of some kind?’  My method is manual, every single time.  My touch typing speed is 80 to 90 words per minute (WPM).  It is actually far quicker for me to manually type any text than use a document converter that I would then have to edit.

I use Microsoft OneNote2013 to take a screenshot, view 2 pages of Microsoft word so that the document to be typed is side-by-side with the page I then type into to.  Then, simply reading the text I start typing away.  Because a touch typist does not need to look at the keyboard, only the text to be typed enables a much faster copy by the professional typist.

Tables, graphs and charts if they are included in the document and required by the client, do take more time, but I can still copy them and accompanying data and would communicate any additional time involved for this.

Am I copywriter as well?

Because the word ‘copy’ is in the title of ‘copy typist’, people often think that copy typing and ‘copywriting‘ are and can be one of the same things that freelancers undertake. No, they are not the same thing.  I am sure there are touch typists out there that benefit greatly from having touch typing skills as copywriters, but it is not the same profession. 

A copywriter is a person that writes online media content, say for a website or marketing agency.  The point of employing content or copywriters is that the written material to be persuasive to people and businesses, and create brand awareness.

As a copy typist, I receive documents and material that people literally just want to be copied, into usually a Word document, but more importantly into an editable format for them to expand and build on themselves once they have received the copy from me.

Conclusion

Most of my freelance ‘gigs’ have been for audio transcription and adding captions to videos for SEO enhancement.  It was only when I started a new gig for typing and copy text documents that I came to understand the amount of printed copy that is not digitalised.  It also amazed me how many people, not businesses, that want the services of a copy typist.  Personal notes, recipes, books, or anything else they required in a hard copy.  For me at the moment, most of the work I undertake is for copy typing and growing in demand daily. 

Luckily I enjoy my job as a typist and transcriptionist, so please look me up on People Per Hour or Fiverr and read about my conscientious service I offer.  I offer customisation for bespoke orders too, please just ask.

 

 

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Twitter Marketing: The Essential Guide [Infographic]

Twitter Marketing: The Essential Guide was written by Dara Fontein and published on Hootsuite on 2nd June 2016.

As I was reading this post, last year, several ideas came to me for this infographic.  I then created it back in June 2016, but due to circumstances beyond my control, when doing a general update on my website, it completely crashed, to the extent that even my website host did not understand what had happened. 

The website is now rebuilt and this is a repost of the Infographic "Twitter Marketing: Essential Guide" created and published by Virtuadmin.

This Mercedes self-typing AI typewriter feels like real magic

AI typewriter by Mercedes
Self-typing AI typewriter feels like real magic (header from the original post)

As experiments with artificial intelligence go, making a magical typewriter that collaborates on fairy tales probably wouldn’t be your first idea. That’s just what Mercedes-Benz have made, however, as part of a demonstration of the power of AI. The result is both very “Harry Potter” and very cool.

It’s the handiwork of a team at the Mercedes-Benz Research and Development Center of North America, in Sunnyvale California. Usually, the engineers and programmers there are working on new infotainment designs, smarter dashboards which can predict where you might want to go and how hot you want the cabin to be, and integration with things like Google Home and Apple Watch.

To put a new artificial intelligence through its paces, though, they turned to a more entertaining concept. While this might look like an old-fashioned typewriter, and indeed operates as one, it also has a mind of its own.

They taught it very little to start with, basically that it should build up a text character by character. Then they fed it with a stack of old Brothers Grimm fairytales. The Ai doesn’t really know it’s writing a story, but it does know to take a prompt typed from a human and then interact with the story.

In practice, it means you type a few sentences and then pause, only to have the typewriter itself pick up the thread and add its own twist to the tale. Nothing is pre-programmed, with the artificial intelligence instead analyzing what its human co-author has written and attempting to come up with something that fits thematically.

As for the eye-catching typewriter design, while the Mercedes team could’ve had the whole thing working on a laptop display, the feeling was that this fit better with the gothic atmosphere of classically creepy fairy tales. The keys themselves are linked by cables to individual actuators, which pull them down to type. The engineers conceded that an electric typewriter mechanism would’ve been a whole lot easier to work with – you have to clear the occasional jam, just like in the old days – but then you wouldn’t have quite the same charm.

The stories themselves aren’t going to win any book awards for great literature, but the AI does a surprisingly good job of picking out characters, items, and topics introduced by human authors and taking those forward as it develops the tale. Fed with a somewhat tongue-in-cheek range of characters including a bear and an Uber, it managed to cling to its fairytale theme.

Of course, Mercedes isn’t planning to get into the ebook business. The automaker’s real goal is using artificial intelligence’s like these to build self-driving cars that can monitor the road around it for other traffic, pedestrians, and potential obstacles, and adapt in real-time rather than needing programming for every situation. Being able to react to unpredictable human drivers and pedestrians, not to mention changeable weather conditions, would give an autonomous vehicle an edge that even years of traditional engineering couldn’t achieve.

**  This post first appeared on Slashgear.com on December 12, 2016 and written by Chris Davies.  All images and the video are from the original post.