Scheduling Twitter Worldwide

Today, Christine started scheduling manuel tweets that tags our food bloggers. Many of them have 100s and 1,000s of followers that know and are familiar with their brand. Our hope is to connect with these followers online and support our foodbloggers.   Kevin will eventually automate tweets as new dishes are added. This is a good way to broadcast current info.


It took me about 1.5hrs to find our current foodblogger’s twitter handles and manually schedule 30 tweets. A challenge is that foodbloggers are worldwide like Singapore, UK, California. So Christine has to be conscious of their hometown time zones. Usually, it’s a good idea to leave 20 characters so people can retweet the entire link. Instead I’ve hashed some keywords at end of the tweet which are expendable. Here is a sample tweet:


9:45am (EST here) / 8:45am (CSTIllinois)

“Breakfast? Multigrain Pancakes by @naturallyella  View more of Erin’s dishes www.knapkins.com/duel?dish=181 #Illinois #foodie”


Email Drip for Food Bloggers


  • Subject: Welcome to Knapkins
  • Content: Recipe photo from their foodblog
  • Call to Action: Play Food Duel, first duel is their own photo
  • Ling: www.knapkins.com/duel?name=username
  • 8 sent (100%)
  • 5 unique open (62%)
  • 2 unique clicks (25%)


  • Subject: Knapkins, Your USERNAME gallery is ready
  • Content: Recipe names from their foodblog
  • Call to Action: View Your Gallery 
  • Link: www.knapkins.com/dishes?name=username
  • 14 sent (100%)
  • 10 unique open (71%)
  • 5 unique click (36%)
  • 5 minutes, 3 pages


  • Subject: Knapkins, Your USERNAME gallery has votes
  • Content: Recipe photos from their foodblog
  • Call to Action: View Your Votes
  • Link: www.knapkins.com/dishes?name=username
  • 40 sent (100%)
  • 23 unique open (57%)
  • 12 unique click (31%)
  • 1:45 minutes, 21.29 pages



“Duel of Week” email & “Apple Badge” email and Google Analytics

To complement ‘rewards’ like the apple badge. We made a quick email so the user has something in their inbox. They get their ‘apple badge’ along with 6 apple recipes and a link to view more recipes. We hope this will create a feed back loop. Also put together a “Duel of the Week” email. Mail Chimp is great! Kevin is working on the web version of the duel…


Briefly looked at Google Analytics today. Noticed we get have some interesting traffic in Singapore. Weird!

  • Singapore
  • Visits: 18
  • Average: 103 pages
  • Length: 19 minutes 🙂
  • US
  • Visits: 324
  • Average: 20 pages
  • Length: 4 minutes
  • Canada
  • Visits: 171 
  • Average: 15 pages
  • Length: 6:30 minutes

Pretty funny! Got a $110 credit in the mail from our hosting company. Look, ma! Paper based advertising by Google… 



Keeping content current and adding “rewards”

Automating content discovery:

One of the biggest complaints from food bloggers about aggregation sites was that the picture submission process was a pain.  Every time they wrote a new blog post, they had to go to each of the food aggregation sites and make a submission.  So we decided to automate this process for them.  What we would pull in new pictures from their RSS feeds, add them to our site, and notify them once their picture was up.  We threw up a sign up page describing this process and emailed a bunch of bloggers requesting them to sign up.  Christine then manually simulated this automation process for them.  The response was very positive from the bloggers.  One even said that we were “a dream to work with” since they didn’t have to do the tedious work of uploading anymore.  As the list of blogger signups piled up though, the manually process was difficult to keep up with (not just the initial picture uploads but monitoring their blogs for updates).  So last week our tools finally caught up with the promise of an automated process.  Our app now does a nightly pull from all the signed up blogs, and pulls in new updates into our system.  The only manually step required is to add some tags to each entry, approve it, and its live.  Here’s a screenshot our system. 




Keeping content current:

Now that we have a system to add new pictures to Knapkins, we are able to provide a “time” component to our users.  Pictures can be sorted by new this week, new this month, and all time, much like the other food blog aggregators  Users are now presented with fresh content on subsequent visits.  A first step on planning for retention.



A final component we added was the idea of rewards/items/badges, and more importantly, cleaning up the signup prompt and flow.  The goal is to increase our signup activation step.  Screenshots below:




Google Analytics

General Analytics (July 1 to July 10)

New vs. Returning
  • New (2:37 mins, 10 pages)
  • Returning  (6:48 mins, 22 pages)


  • 1-3 mins (average 12 pages)
  • 3-5 mins ( average 24.6 pages)


  • add engagement at 10-12 pages
  • push them to signup at 25 pages (show ‘foodie’ status trophy)

Continue reading


Android and Apple: Together (Boss: Christine)

Last two days, we’ve started to play with mobile. For Christine, it has been 5 years since she last developed. It was fun to get into it and see a live results. With 24 hours, here’s what she did/built:



Special thanks to PonziCoder for taking the time to document his adventures. It was a fun code-along…  http://www.youtube.com/user/ponzicoder#p/c/87FA0FB3611241B5/10/I-gG8JhywUg


Conversions on Signups & Tagging (Boss: Kevin)

Contact 100 foodbloggers via email and ended up within 12hrs with a 10% conversion for signups.

  • 100 Foodblogs (50 KevinText, 50 ChristineText)
  • 95 Foodblogs (correct email address)
  • 92 Foodblogs (active email address)
  • 43 Site visits (25 KevinText, 18 ChristineText)
  • 37 clicked signup link (2:32mins on site, 24.95 pages)
  • 13 sign ups (1 said no, but signed up after I explained what we do)



I’ve been tagging photos to help sort the recipes. A few thing I noted about tagging ingredients:

  • colour specific (yellow and green bell peppers can be interchangeable, but red onions for green onions can not)
  • brand specific (Worcestershire Pickapeppa)
  • name spelling (Monterey-Jack vs. Monterey Jack)
  • type specific (brown sugar, yellow sugar, dark sugar, light sugar)
  • country specific (dijon french mustard, english mustard)
  • spelling (yogurt, yoghurt)
  • listing of subsitute options (molasses vs. honey)
  • naming conventions (corn starch vs. corn flour, broth vs. stock)
  • complete ingredients (hummus vs. chickpea, lime, garlic, tahini)
  • grade (double cream 48%, heavy cream 40%, whipping cream 35%, half and half 18%, table cream 10%, light cream 5%)
  • ingredient parts (zest vs. juice, yolk vs. white vs. whole)
  • listed as singular (bay leaf vs. bay leaves)

Drip Campaign Schedule (Boss: Christine)

  • (0 days) Sign Up
  • [x] 10 Tips: Tastiest Food Photography (BiMONTHLY 1st and 15th)
  • [auto opt in] Monthly results
  • [auto opt in] Duel of Week
  • (0 days) Application Received
  • [x] 10 Tips: Tastiest Food Photography (BiMONTHLY 1st and 15th)


———————— MONTH #ONE———————— 

    • (+1 days) #1 Tips: Tastiest Food Photography (15th)
    • [option opt out]] Tip
    • (+7 days) Duel of Week (2nd Friday)
    • www.knapkins.com/duelofweek
    • results from last week
    • [option opt out] Duel of Week 
    • [x] 10 Tips: Tastiest Food Photography
    • (+7 days) Duel of Week (3rd Friday)
    • www.knapkins.com/duelofweek
    • results from last week
    • [option opt out] Duel of Week
    • [x] 10 Tips: Tastiest Food Photography
    • (+1 days) #2 Tips: Tastiest Food Photography (30th)
    • [option opt out] Tip
    • (+7 days) Duel of Week  (4th Friday)
    • www.knapkins.com/duelofweek
    • results from last week
    • [option opt out] Duel of Week 
    • [x] 10 Tips: Tastiest Food Photography


    ———————— MONTH #TWO ———————— 

    • (+1 days) #3 Tips: Tastiest Food Photography (15th)
    • [option opt out]] Tip
    • (+1 days) #4 Tips: Tastiest Food Photography (30th)
    • [option opt out] Tip



    Noob Guide to Online Marketing by Oli Gardner (Boss: Christine)

    Kevin sent Christine a link on ‘Online Marketing‘ by Oil Gardner earlier in the week, so today we went through the 50 steps and divided the 6 month roadmap. We’ll aim to have this complete in 1/2 the time, although some elements are simply ongoing… 

    “Oli Gardner is the Director of Marketing at Unbounce. He is a former creative director & interaction designer and tends to use metaphor more than he probably should in his writing. Oli writes about conversioncentered design and is the voice of the Unbounce Twitter account.” Check out the www.seomoz.org/blog/the-noob-guide-to-online-marketing-with-giant-infographic-11928


    The new darling of the marketing community still gets grumbles from the old-schoolers. Ignore them for they know not what they say. SMM is a massive topic, so for the noob guide we’ll focus on a few key platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. And a few key strategies: developing a style and how to convert your social traffic.

    #1 – Claim your brand (done: July 3)
    #2 – Set up your Twitter account (done: June 29)
    #3 – Have something to say – define your style (ongoing)
    #16 – Build a following on Twitter (ongoing)
    #23 – Time your tweets (ongoing)
    #30 – Create a conversion oriented Facebook fan page (Nov 1)
    #31 – Connect your blog to Facebook (not doing)
    #32 – Seed some facebook fans (ongoing)
    #39 – Start networking on LinkedIn (Christine)
    #45 – Stay in the conversation: Leave Twitter tabs open for “live” social interaction (Kevin)
    #46 – Create a social media contest page with viral features (Christine & Kevin)

    Email can be tough and unforgiving compared to other online mediums (once you hit send, your message is committed to the ether, never to be undone – except through the use of the apologetic “I screwed up” follow-up email. Instead of talking about writing emails, I’ll focus your noob experience on cooler concepts like drip campaigns – which can make the difference between an actively engaged audience and a legion of prospects who’ve forgotten what you do.

    #4 – Choose an online email provider  (done: June 30)
    #5 – Create a branded email template (done: July 20 Blogger1,2,3, Badge, Duel of Week)
    #17 – Set up a drip campaign for acquisition, education & retention (done July 3)
    #24 – Segment and create lists (done: July 14)
    #40 – A/B test your emails (ongoing July 6, July 25, Aug 1, Aug 3)

    How do you do email marketing if you have no one to email? That’s where lead gen comes in. We’ll discuss methods for growing your email lists by writing eBook’s, presenting webinars and simply by asking people to follow your blog.

    #6 – Set up a Feedburner account to capture & track RSS readers (done: July 16)
    #7 – Gather emails for a product launch (done: June 30)
    #25 – Answer questions on LinkedIn & Quora (not doing)
    #33 – Give something away in exchange for customer data (Christine)

    I have to tread carefully here as the SEOmoz community is probably the most engaged and knowledgeable SEO crowd on the planet (yes I’m sucking up). Here I cover some of the techniques that I’ve used to be successful at managing my organic search and building a natural ecosystem that encourages link building success.

    #8 – Set up Google Webmaster Tools (July 3)
    #9 – Research and define your core organic search keywords (Kevin)
    #18 – Architect your blog for search – choose targeted categories (Kevin)
    #19 – Use SEOmoz campaigns to track your search progress (Christine) 
    #41 – Link building (ongoing July 20 Christine)

    Think of 5 lanes of traffic driving across a bridge. This is your inbound traffic (often paid for) wanting to cross boundaries just to reach you. If your intended destination page isn’t optimized for their specific needs, you may as well knock 2 lanes out of the bridge and let the cars fall into the river. CRO is all about making sure the other side of the bridge leads to optimizeville, where there’s only one thing to do and it’s really obvious how to do it.

    #26 – A single purpose and CTA for every page (Kevin)  
    #34 – Rate your pages with the conversion scorecard (Kevin)
    #42 – A/B test your landing pages (Kevin)
    #43 – Try a 5 second test (Christine and Kevin)
    #47 – Learn from your users using feedback widgets & live chat (Kevin)
    #48 – Segment inbound traffic sources

    There’s a reason analytics is represented by grey in the wheel. It’s dull. Until you get it right that is. Analytics contain so much hidden awesomeness, that when you get it hooked up everything else becomes much easier – including getting buy-in from management to do “fancy-pants” things like CRO above.

    #10 – Set up a Google Analytics account (Done: July 1)
    #11 – Establish conversion goals and funnels (Done: July 1)
    #12 – Annotate important events in Google Analytics (Kevin)
    #20 – Add custom reports to your Google Analytics dashboard (Kevin)
    #35 – Discover under-performing areas of your site (Kevin)

    Content isn’t king anymore – it’s more like the emperor. Content is the start, middle and end of your online marketing story and is critical to virtually everything you do. By the end of this course you’ll be writing on your corporate blog, guest blogging, writing eBooks, getting your publishing schedule organized with an editorial calendar and even attempting the mighty infographic.

    #13 – Start a corporate blog & give your knowledge away for free  (started Aug 1)
    #14 – Submit your content to social hubs (Christine)
    #15 – Bookmark your content on delicious (done: July 20)
    #21 – Set up an editorial calendar (Christine)
    #22 – Enable social sharing mechanisms (Kevin)
    #27 – Write an ebook (not doing it)
    #36 – Write guest posts for other blogs  (not doing )
    #44 – Write about others to build relationships (not doing)
    #49 – Create an infographic (not doing it)

    PPC is the fastest way to get instant traffic to your site. However, it’s hard to do well, so we’ll wait until month 3 to tackle it. The majority of Google’s AdWords users go bust on their free $100 voucher with nothing but a sour taste in their mouths. I’ll give you some tips on doing it right and a back up plan for letting the experts take over if you can’t figure it out.

    #28 – Create a Google AdWords account (done June 29)
    #29 – Send traffic to landing pages – not your homepage! (Kevin)
    #37 – One landing page per ad group (Christine & Kevin)
    #38 – Improve message match for a high quality score (Christine & Kevin)
    #50 – Get some help from a PPC expert (not doing it)