I have been sharing my thoughts and experiences online since I set up my first website in 1998 on Tripod.com; a version full of ads is still available on the free hosting service.
It took me some time to set up my personal blog (this one) as a project. After running multiple blogs which were geared towards using social platforms and digital marketing, I wanted a place to cover some of my personal experiences on a variety of subjects. I have been publishing my thoughts since May 2010.
Another Ugly 4th of July for Puerto Rico
This past 4th of July weekend, I wrote about how Puerto Rico’s beautiful beaches are trashed daily. I have written about this topic on multiple occasions and felt it was sort of ignored.
Living on the beach has given me the experience of observing how most individuals that visit the beach decide to litter. Objects vary from something as simple as a cigarette butt to an old beach chair. Others have their BBQ’s and drop the hot commercial charcoal on our beautiful beaches.
Our government and even those that are trying to help, have created an understanding that someone will come and clean-up their mess.
More than they can Carry Sober
The main question I ask myself is why are people bringing so much stuff and why are they not taking it back.
With time, I have realized that most of those who leave trash behind are publicly intoxicated. They can barely carry themselves much less bring back the trash they brought.
Although it is illegal to have bottles of liquor on the beach, nobody gets fined.
A Different Approach
On this occasion I put into practice a few things I have learned from my 52 books in one year challenge. There are two main books I took advice from which are, The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand by Ekaterina and Jessica and Content Chemistry: An Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing by Andy Crestodina, a book I received a bit more than a week ago when I visited Chicago for the Genius Shared Business retreat.
From Visual Storytelling, I got a better understanding of using pictures and a mix of text to attract people to a website or post. On Saturday, I observed cleaning crews working for hours since Friday night. I decided to take a picture and add a message below.
I made sure the image had my personal blog’s logo and two lines; one saying “Happy 5th of July” and the other one pointing people to my blog.
Once I had the image, we shared it via our multiple social platforms. It quickly captured the attention of Mi Puerto Rico Verde’s Facebook page, a site dedicated to the environment. This started a chain reaction of getting coverage from other local mass media characters (one who even took my image and did not give attribution; he shall remain nameless).
The Image as a Starter
The image gave us some time to create a post which could be read and understood very easily by the public. We used some sarcasm and tried to insert some humor with the items left behind in the photos I took.
I took many of the tips from, Content Chemistry, and optimized the content to improve the probability of any tourists looking for Puerto Rico’s beaches, to stumble across this blog post. My heart breaks when a tourist invests their money and time in coming to the island and they are confronted with reality and not what was marketed.
Once the content was optimized and edited, we went ahead and published the post. Optimizing the content will also send a message to those folks who can change a few laws and get resources to stop this from happening. If they want me as an ambassador of the island, they need to clean up their act.
Breaking a Blog Record
I was amazed by the analytics of the site and realized that I had broken my personal blog’s record by getting close to 11K people to visit my site in one day.
I used some tactics that were new to me, mixed with my experience of writing, and getting reactions online. I pushed the envelope with my post, Let the Puerto Rican Beach “Pigs” Pay, and it got people angry.
I can only hope that their reaction is enough to do something to change the garbage issue amongst other one’s affecting our island. A few individuals already decided it was easier to just get angry at me instead of working together at attacking the root of the problem and help hide the pollution problem. The highlight of this story was that many more people stepped up to the plate and voiced their opinions publicly, supporting the fact that I put the spotlight on a subject many rather not talk about.
Bonus: Some of the Tricks to get the 11k Visitors
I will be sharing in more detail some tips I used when writing this very opinionated post that got me traction. Sign-up via my newsletter so you can also use these tips to get your message out and hopefully seek change.