This episode brings you into the atmosphere of the CeBIT Global Conference, where I met Steven Zielke, who helped found the Rock the Blog event. But that’s not the only thing he’s founded: enter Blappsta, a new app that can turn your blog into its own native app. I’m very excited about this app, and even more excited to share it with you. Blappsta provides yet another medium to access your readers in this increasingly mobile world, holding your hand through the registration, allowing you send push notifications, and above all, becoming the provider of your own app.
Starting April 21, 2015 the world of mobile search according to Google will change. An app just might be the best weapon in maintaining relevance in mobile Google search results…
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In This Episode:
- Coming to you again from the CeBIT Global Conference 2015 in Hannover, Germany
- We just concluded the Rock the Blog event, which was for everyone from corporations to personal bloggers and covered everything from content marketing and social media strategy to legal issues to affiliate marketing to personal branding
- Many of you bloggers use WordPress, and you wonder about mobile: there are plugins that will make your website more responsive on a mobile device
- I was introduced to an amazing app, Blappsta, and got to talk to Steven Zielke, the founder and CEO of Blappsta, who also founded the Rock the Blog event
- There are hundreds of millions of blogs out there, and while they may have a responsive site, to get a good native mobile app is difficult
- Blappsta brings each blogger his own app, it’s not an aggregator, it’s not something you have to share
- You get push notifications, the engagement, the loyal readers, it’s searchable, it’s findable
- We all know Google wants more mobile content! And having a native app is better than just a simple mobile version of your site
- Blappsta is basically a WordPress plugin, and you download that, in combination with an app, and when I downloaded it, I had a native app in preview mode within 5 seconds
- I didn’t have to do anything! The content looked great, the photos were resized, here’s no additional work or maintenance
- Blappsta currently has about 700 apps out there and over 1,000 people signed up, and are getting great feedback
- It gives you another medium with more direct communication to your loyal readers
- Once you register on Blappsta.com, it holds your hand through the registration on the iTunes App store and the Google Play store
- You do need to be strategic, as you’ll need a couple unique graphics, a description of the app, and to choose a category
- The potential for mobile visitors, for an alert to pop up when they visit your mobile site saying an app is available, and sending notifications is huge
- It’s time for us to become the providers of these apps!
- It’s not about the technology of the app, but the content that lies within
- Some people are also using it as an internal communication tool
- The web as we know is becoming old school, we’re becoming a mobile society, an app society
Resources & Links:
- Learn more about the CeBIT Global Conference 2015
- Blogging strengthens your social media influence.
- They’re no Blappsta, but here are some WordPress plugins that help make your site more mobile friendly.
- Making your graphics (and Pinterest pins) mobile ready.
- WordPress plugins to help with social media, SEO, and engagement.
- Learn more about social media tools at the Social Tools Summit!
Neal: Hey everybody, this is Neal Schaffer and welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Social. No, I am not at a discotheque, as I like to do wherever I travel in the world, and I haven’t done this recently, it’s my apologies. I’m trying to bring you the environment of where I speak and the people who I get to meet at these speaking events.
Today, I am in Hannover, Germany at the CeBIT Global Conferences where we just concluded the first Rock the Blog event, an event for corporations, for personal bloggers that covered everything from content marketing and social media strategy to legal issues to affiliate marketing to personal branding. It was quite an event.
And I’m here standing next to a gentleman who comes from the company that I believe was what you would call the platinum sponsor of this event.
Steven: The inventors, yeah.
Neal: The inventors of the event, yes.
Neal: And it is an interesting application. Many of you who listen to my podcast probably have a blog and it’s probably on WordPress. And you probably are asking, like I always ask, what do I do with mobile? If there’s plug-ins like WPTouch that will – and JetPack has it as well – that will make your website more responsive a mobile device. It doesn’t always work, in all honesty.
And if you’re like me, I look at my Google Analytics it’s like, wow, 23 percent of my traffic comes from mobile and maybe if it was a lot more better looking on a mobile device it might be – should be even higher actually.
So with that in mind, I was introduced to this amazing application today and I’m standing next to the – can I call you the founder and CEO?
Steven: Oh, yes.
Neal: Yes. Call it Blappsta. And I’ll put the link in my blog when you read about it. But if you’re dying to know about it, B-L-A-P-P-S-T-A. And before I go into the amazing insight that I found about the app today, I wanna first introduce you to –
Neal: — Steven, the founder and CEO and really the brain behind today’s Rock the Blog event. Steven, welcome.
Steven: Thank you. Thank you.
Neal: Tell us a little about Rock the Blog, the concept.
Steven: Well, Rock the Blog was just an idea we had last year to take CeBIT, take the format of CeBIT and give it a platform for bloggers. And we were really, really unsure if this would work. I mean, this is Germany. This is not international. This is not New York. This is not U.S. This is still Germany but we have with the CeBIT an international show. And the biggest show in that area, so we created that format and we were really overwhelmed today about the number of people that showed up.
Neal: And the engagement was great too.
Steven: It was really, really good engagement. We had people from all over the country joining us. We had about I’d say 600, 700 people at the show here, at the conference. So it was a big success for us. Yeah, we’re happy.
Neal: And to give you a snapshot, CeBIT is the world’s largest show on information technology. And it’s much like consumer electronics show. Probably ten years ago it probably peaked. And now you have more conferences, more people meet online, travel budgets are down. So Rock the Blog really is part of sort of recharging, giving CeBIT some new energy. And I think information technology, and it’s very appropriate for social media. I mean, I talked about that in my own speech here, the role that I take and play in social media. And it hasn’t and it really should.
Steven: Right. And what I found real interesting is, I mean, we’re in this space of blog which is digital and people communicate digital. And we make this conference and they all come here. They travel, they’re in the train, they’re in the car to travel here to meet each other. So it’s about the people in the end, it’s about meeting people. Even if you do, you’re a blogger, Instagram, your Facebook, whatever, in the end it’s about the people. And that’s what’s so great today.
Neal: And the relationships that you make because, I mean, I am here at CeBIT because of Ingo Stoll, my friend who I met a year ago at Social Media Marketing World who invited me to do his podcast and visit him in Germany and speak at CeBIT. I’ve been invited here in Germany because of that. It’s been amazing.
So Blappsta. In a – I’ll talk about my own feeling about it because I already installed it on my WordPress site. So in a nutshell, what was the issue that you found, what did you develop and how is it helping people?
Steven: So the issue was that I know is that everybody has a blog. I mean, there are 153 million blogs out there. I’m not even talking about which is good and which is bad but there are lots and lots of people blogging. And they’ve never had the real mobile version of it. I mean, there’s a responsive website but to get a good native app is really the ideal. And it’s not just installing the plug-in, you have a native app. It’s all a lot you have to do behind the scenes.
And we are an app development company and we started developing two years ago with an app which we call Blappsta which everybody can get this whole native app. And with that app it is in the area of native apps so each blogger has his own app. It’s not an aggregator, it’s not something you share with somebody else. You get your own brand on the Smartphone and you can use all the gimmicks that are available, all the personal identifications, the engagement possible lawyer readers. And with Google changing its code now, that’ll be also indexed and searchable and findable. And that is a big thing in our eyes.
Neal: If this sounds too good to be true, it really is true. And I do this podcast because I see iTunes as a huge search engine. And if you have a podcast you’re in the engine, if you don’t you’re not.
Neal: And we all know that Google wants more mobile contents. And it seems to be that an application that’s written in native, as you say, in IOS or Android, would be better than just having a M.MyWebsite.com that just is responsive. So basically Blappsta – I’ll give you my own little feedback here – is a WordPress plug-in. It’s a WordPress plug-in and there’s also an app that you put on your phone. So I installed the WordPress plug-in which is called Blappsta. I went to the iTunes store and found the app. I literally took a screenshot of when you install the plug-in it creates a QR code, which has your URL in it and maybe some other code. And you take a picture of that from your iPhone app of the same Blappsta and within five seconds there was a native app.
It was in preview mode but it was already rendering in native. And I didn’t have to do anything and the blog content looked great. The photos are resized. There’s space for header image. I hear Blappsta is really big in Germany.
Neal: People in the United States just don’t know about it, right?
Steven: That’s right, but we’re popular in Germany.
Neal: What is Blappsta – I mean, it’s become a necessity for bloggers. Tell us about the bloggers they already have signed up and what you’ve heard from them as to how their journey has been.
Steven: We’re focused on Germany because that’s where I’m from. We have about 6, 700 apps out there. We have about another over 1,000 people signed up for it. We get lots of feedback. In fact we’ve had a long time where we held back generating more apps because we had so much feedback. It’s a lot of work catching up with it. And we’re at a point now where the feedback is just extraordinary.
It is really something because it’s so simple and so easy. It takes you one or two minutes. And after that – that’s important – you don’t have more effort. It’s not about something that you need to use a different channel to do a different social media channel you have to do. No, you have the same amount of work you had just writing the content because that’s what you can do.
And it’s also simple to create the app. And for you it’s something really nice because you have the direct communication to your loyal readers that you can push out to them. And you instantly can generate their reading onto your content. And for you it doesn’t matter. As an app, as a website it shouldn’t matter. It’s your content that’s relevant. So all we do is really giving another medium. That’s it.
Neal: But it’s really brilliant. I mean, I installed the app, installed the plug-in and I have my content going on on the previous screen. It looked great. I then went back into WordPress and there’s a lot of – if you wanna customize the CSS if things don’t look right, there’s a few things you can do that might look right out of the box.
And then I noticed that I can customize what the front screen looks like. I can add other pages outside of my blog. I can say the uncategorized category that I don’t want that to show. So it was really powerful and then I could customize. But above and beyond that you then register on Blabbsta.com and it will handhold you through the registration process on both the Google play store and the iTunes stores.
Now, you will need a few different graphics. You’ll need to have descriptions of the app, you need to decide on categories, you need to be strategic about this. So it is Friday here in Germany. This is my homework for the weekend. I already have my designer that’s designing the images that will become the icon and what have you.
So there’s a little bit of work you have to do but I think the potential of when you have mobile visitors, of having the mobile visitors say, there’s an app available. Would you like to download it? And being able to send out notifications, this is what every company wants is it’s – we’re becoming a notification economy. And I think that’s really the really powerful aspect about this as well. Can you tell us a little bit about your vision going forward on that?
Steven: Well, you’ve mentioned the most important part, that’s notifications. And first of all, you have the notification on your fingertip. It’s not us, it’s not the system or anything. You can decide, I wanna send a push notification.
Now the next step we’re taking is what we call intelligent push notifications. It’s not up to you to decide if the reader wants to get it or not. He tells you by the way he uses the app if he is interested in getting a notification or not. And those are mechanisms that we’re building into that system.
So we have tons of to-dos on our list. We are a small start-up company really looking and expanding internationally. And we’re working very hard on those functions. So it’s a really next generation push.
Neal: Awesome. I’m gonna continue blogging about my experience of Blappsta. I know we just met and I know you’re gonna be launching in the United States soon. And the Social Tool Summit of May is a little bit early but I hope to see you there in the fall. And I hope that the readers will also try and install it. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
I’ve tried various mobile solutions but they were – this is for free now, if you’re a personal blogger. So while it’s –
Steven: Not much longer.
Neal: — while it’s free take advantage of it now, right.
Steven: But even after that it won’t be costing a lot of money. We have to do something because we’re just overwhelmed with people that wanna get it. It’s just too much but it’ll be under the, let’s say $9 a month kind of price range.
Neal: So if I’m thinking, wow, my podcast, I wanna access the iTunes store, what about the Google Play store? What about the iTunes store when people do searches for social media? We know that it’s happening more and more and there’s more and more resourceful apps out there. Why don’t we become the providers of those apps? And really, if you’re a content marketer, why don’t you have a Smartphone app yet, right?
Steven: Yeah, exactly. I mean, really, the app world is changing in that respect. And Google has laid a benchmark again trying – or indexing apps and really tells us that they are interested in looking into the apps and make it a part of their Google SEO strategy. And that’s – it’s not about the technology app. It’s about the content that lies in the app. And that makes this so interesting.
Neal: So Blappsta is the content enabler or the technology enabler. It’s your content, their technology and it really does work seamlessly. So Steven, thank you.
Steven: Thank you.
Neal: Any final words for those bloggers out there? Maybe you could end with the companies that you work with. I don’t know if you can name names but how they’re using your technology and what they do for corporate blogging.
Steven: Yeah, in fact, we have some big companies starting with the tire manufacturer Continental. We’re setting up for Opel now so it’s General Motors’ daughter. So there’s some big companies that are known. It’ll really be interesting and it’ll be really interesting to see how the U.S. reacts to the market on that. It’s for internal communication also. So this whole thing we’ve just talked about, think about it as an internal communication tool for your company internally. There’s a huge potential there.
Neal: Very interesting. If there’s something that you need to get the word out to your employees, how do you do it? Well, there’s nothing better than a notification on a Smartphone because we know everyone’s eyeballing that, right?
Steven: Right. Exactly. And even if it’s just a Christmas greeting of the big boss, the CEO saying Merry Christmas to my people, that’s how they use. And you have the direct communication tool to the pocket of your employees. And companies like that.
Neal: So bloggers, the web as we know it is becoming old school. We’re becoming a mobile society and more and more an app society. So now it’s time to get with it and I hope you’ll join me in trying out Blappsta. And I look forward to reporting back more. And Steven, I hope to see you in the United States soon.
Steven: Oh, I will. It’s half of my home. I’m half American. I am very loyal.
Neal: Well, I am signing off from Hannover, Germany. I’m looking forward to seeing some more great soccer tomorrow. So until next time wherever you are in the world, make it a great social day. Bye-bye everybody.
Transcript provided courtesy of GMR Transcription Services, Inc.
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