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A chat with Alex Yong, a New York City-based blogger.

Q: Tell us what you do again. Do you blog about social media?

Alex: I’m a copywriter, writer and consultant. If there’s a tech event or gala happening near me, I’m there. I have a blog and I guest blog too. My blog informs shoppers about choices they might not be aware of, such as brand new products, product refreshes, news and shifting trends. Even though I wrote an ebook published on, I’m definitely not a social media blogger – I leave that to the gurus. I like reading their observations and opinions. I usually don’t have much interest in sharing my own social media observations, because I feel they amount to guesses and not much more. But then again, there’s tons of guessing within social media – it’s still sort of new.

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Q: What’s your traffic strategy? Are you getting a lot of traffic?

Alex: That depends on what you consider “a lot” of traffic, and it also depends on your philosophy on how traffic should ultimately be used. I get around 9,500 uniques per month last time I checked – but a lot of that traffic is from being in the CisionPoint database. For anyone who’s never heard of it, it’s an international B2B directory, not a “linky” directory that exists purely for SEO. CisionPoint is a database media departments and agencies access to connect with another entity – for example, if they’re seeking niche blogs for a client campaign or gala. As for traffic strategy, I don’t truly have one – well, not written down anywhere at least. If I had a strategy written down somewhere, maybe my traffic would be higher, it’s hard to say – I try to roll with the punches. I list my traffic stats in my media onesheet. Hopefully, agencies check my stats, because hello, I took the time to create the onesheet to make things as easy as possible. (laughter) I don’t know what they do on their end – maybe they just go by what they see in the database, and that’s beyond my control. But I like giving the proverbial “110 percent.” In this case, because I know agencies aren’t too thrilled to work with low-traffic blogs, my onesheet is a timesaver because it lists my traffic and other key info.

Q: What are your thoughts on all these SEO-related discussions in the last few years?

Alex: What comes to mind right off the bat – and maybe I’m unfairly reading between the lines – is there’s a lot of anger toward Google. That’s the climate I feel we’re in, and I really don’t understand it. I never relied on Google and AdSense and all that. Maybe some people feel spending more time on Facebook or Pinterest or whatever is part of the “adapt-or-die” process. Or maybe they hear about competitors using Google Authorship and they react with disgust, like it’s extra work to set it up before they can “compete.” They’re not entirely wrong – social media and tools like Pinterest do take time and Google Authorship can be a slight pain at first. But it’s important to roll with the punches – in other words, adapt. If your competition adapts and you don’t, that’s not good. I assume most people with ruffled feathers were – or still are – relying on AdSense, and Lord knows what else. I don’t think I ever ranked on Google SERPs. Brands that work with me aren’t overly concerned with SERP positions, which is kind of nice. Long before they ever met me, they ranked on page 1 consistently for competitive keywords. I like to think I help keep them on page 1 though.

“Maybe it’s time to think outside the box.”

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To everyone, especially the folks fuming at Google, my advice would be: Maybe it’s time to think outside the box. Again, roll with the punches. A blog owner recently told me her guest bloggers aren’t good at responding to reader comments. She thinks guest blogging shouldn’t be treated like autopilot marketing. And she’s 100 percent right — It should not. Her issue with these guests reflects a larger problem. My instinct says those types of bloggers secretly want autopilot everything. I hate to say it, but let’s be real – some folks only care about getting their backlink and say ‘screw the rest.’ They want everything to be digital, digital, digital. That’s freaking lazy! I don’t know how else to say it! Thankfully the experts are warning us that social signals are being assessed. If they’re right, and I feel they are, then we all pretty much need to be social. That’s what these lazy bloggers aren’t understanding. Everything’s being taken into consideration.

Blog comments: Are they social signals?

Even though we don’t immediately think of blog commenting as a social signal, I wouldn’t be surprised if Google has found a way to assess comments as some kind of a signal – perhaps a quality signal. They’ve had over a decade to figure out the comment spam game. Google might be lots of things, but they’re not stupid. My heart goes out to the anti-spam team at Google. Their task is never truly done. My instinct says social signal analyses are mainly to fight spam, and if good contributors get “ranked” in the process, hey, it’s a bonus for Google, and for the good content creators too. And Google knows spammers can’t do social media – at least not in a way that’s believable to real social media users. Spammers are too lazy – and lazy and success don’t go together.

But tying all this back to that blog owner inviting lazy guests – I feel she would need to develop a sixth sense to the point where she can spot these lazy bloggers a mile away and tell them “No” before they can take advantage. Y’know, we better train the next generation about social media and real world social skills. It would be terrible to unwittingly create masses of young people who’d much rather rely on digital, digital, digital, instead of real work and human-to-human problem solving, both of which are kryptonite to spammers.

Q: How long have you been on social media?

Alex: Not long at all! I’m late to the game. My first social media account was created in 2012.

Q: What marketing tools or strategies are you aware of now that you’re using social media?

Alex: The one I think of right away is the application. Jason Frasca, an Evernote expert who’s very active on GooglePlus, mentioned it to me privately. lets you quickly create a website based on your Evernote notes. As a writer, now I have a handy site for my clips portfolio. The trick is to pick the right theme for your needs, and you gotta follow the sync rules exactly. If you miss a step, it won’t sync. But I save over $2,200 a year with instead of using a fancier site for writers’ portfolios – those can cost over $195 a month, sometimes more! So yeah, that makes me happy.

Q: Sounds awesome. How can people reach you?

Alex: I’m on GooglePlus and I’m on Twitter too, as @ggSolutions123, but the best way to reach me is on Skype. My Skype name is Alex Yong Writer-NY or yhsmanhattan. I’m happy you took the time to get to know me better. Let’s talk again soon.

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Dell representatives speak to the press and bloggers at Eventi Hotel, October 2013

Featured images’ license info:

All images are owned by the guest Alex Yong


5 comments on “A chat with Alex Yong, a New York City-based blogger.

  1. philtrate
    February 23, 2014

    Lots of great points and ideas here Alex. I, too, am late to the social media game, late because I saw it as a game where everybody talked and nobody listened, so what was the point?

    I still think that most posts on Twitter are SEO-automated rubbish. And that is the major problem that I see online: The battle between search engines and SEO automation.

    Whatever is perceived to be a criterion in Google’s search algorithm is immediately hit upon by SEO agencies whose existence depends on boosting their clients’ search rankings. They did it with back-linking, guest posting and now they are doing it with social media.

  2. Roy Carlos
    February 23, 2014

    You talk about thinking outside the box but you didnt say what thinking outside the box

  3. Andrew Popper
    February 24, 2014

    Hi Alex, one thing I don’t understand. If published your content, shouldn’t it be about social media? That’s confusing.

  4. Alex Yong
    February 24, 2014

    Hi Andrew. True, my ebook isn’t about social media but on pages 3 & 6 I blend twitter advice into the book ‘s advice. That’s why Social Media Sun thought it was appropriate. Roy.As for outside the box thinking, it’s about viewing social media as a necessity and not a plaything. As in, a legit component of strategy that’s becoming mandatory for lots of businesses.

  5. Alex
    February 24, 2014

    Hi Phil. Thank you for your input. If the masses are trying to leverage Twitter in the way you suggest, then it’s a silly “phantom” gold rush built on hope. I heard several people say each and every Twitter tweet/link is nofollow, and I bet they’re right. Hence a “phantom” gold rush to tweet “anything and everything” with the shaky hope that the signals will mean something to some mysterious algo somewhere, even if the value of a tweet doesn’t have the oldschool SEO/SERP value (a la backlinks) per se. Not a good use of time in my opinion, but there are lots of bots on Twitter too. Mankind’s love of shortcuts often creates mess. I don’t know how else to say it!

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This entry was posted on February 22, 2014 by in Business, Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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