Tag Archives: markethive

Why Videos are Outperforming Pictures in Regards to Online Marketing

Why Videos are Outperforming Pictures in Regards to Online Marketing

video marketing,inbound marketing,markethive,tipsword,tipco,blogging

Videos have always been a high-demand medium for those who are looking to promote their product or service through online channels such as YouTube. However, you may have noticed the growing trend of embedding videos within a website. The same holds true for social media platforms such as Facebook. Why are videos taking the world of digital marketing by storm and what can we expect to see in the months ahead?

 

Information and Entertainment

It could be argued that the days of static SEO-rich text are fading away. Still, we all know that quality content can ultimately make the difference between a sale and a missed opportunity. Videos are set to bridge the gap between success and a lack thereof. A recent study by Cisco highlighted that videos are slated to account for no less than 69% of all consumer traffic by 2017 (1). The fact of the matter is that we live in a visually oriented society. Failing to capitalize on this trend could have negative consequences upon your business plan.

The Smartphone Influence

Another factor that is impossible to deny is the fact that we all use our smartphones on a daily basis. From downloading the latest games to watching a streaming broadcast, the days of 4G are now upon us. Very few consumers are willing to enlarge a block of text and read it from beginning to end in order to get a handle on what is being offered. Videos can accommodate this need in a fraction of the time. Any small business that fails to take advantage of this opportunity could soon find itself playing a game of catch-up for years into the future.

The Reach

Content marketing can be a tricky arena. It is difficult to understand what an audience may want and if static text or info graphics are boring, there is no doubt that your sales will suffer as a result. These concerns can be (partially) addressed through the use of video. For example, were you aware that YouTube receives more than 1 billion visitors each month (2)? In the same respect, the average consumer within the United States views at least one video each week. The fact of the matter is that videos can provide access to a massive pool of potential buyers.

The Personal Touch

We should never forget that videos enable us to connect with an audience in ways that would simply be impossible through a static website. Let's imagine that customer has a complaint about a product that they recently purchased. As opposed to sending a lengthy (and formal) email or simply replying to a post, imagine the impact that a personalized video response would have upon the future buying decisions. Additionally, other clients are likely to be very impressed with your ability to go “above and beyond” the norm.

Brand Uniformity

Another great aspect of videos is that they can be embedded across multiple sites. So, you could very well provide an outbound link to your Facebook page, a specific blog or even to YouTube itself. Not only is this a great way to increase your brand recognition, but Google looks favorably upon these actions.

Videos are without a doubt here to stay. Although well-written text and flashy graphics are always good ideas, we can't deny the fact that consumers want to be entertained, engaged and informed. Videos are the best ways to promote your product in a way that is appealing to your growing audience.

Richard Tipsword
MarketHive Developer

Sources:
1. http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns525/ns537/ns705/ns827/white_paper_c11-481360_ns827_Networking_Solutions_White_Paper.html
 

2. http://www.youtube.com/yt/press/en-GB/statistics.html

Expected Google Algorithmic Trends for 2016

Expected Google Algorithmic Trends for 2016

 

 

SERP rankings are important for your business to enjoy the success that it deserves. Unfortunately, we can often become too caught up in standard marketing approaches and fail to realize that many of these could be outdated due to a Google algorithmic update.

Although even the experts are not certain as to what we can expect for 2016, there are a few likely trends which could very well take shape in the months ahead. Let's take a look at a handful of the most dramatic.

 

Duration-Based Video Rankings

This trend is actually quite interesting, for it signals that Google is placing more importance on the overall user experience than ever before. We are all aware that videos now play a massive role in rankings and client conversions, but this is predicted to substantially change in 2016 (1). Google will now view how long a visitor spends watching a video under the assumption that longer viewing times indicate content of a higher quality. So, this could also affect your SERP rankings. Keep your videos short, to the point and most importantly, entertaining!

 

Email Interaction

This next prediction has actually caught some users by surprise. In the past, companies would have been only mildly concerned with how their emails were categorized based upon their content. It was volume more than anything else. Some believe that Google may begin to incorporate which folder an email is sent to alongside standard rankings.

 

For example, messages which are defined as spam could have an impact upon your overall rankings. This very same concept could apply if a user automatically marks an email as spam or places it into her or her junk folder. So, quality will need to be emphasized over sheer quantity.

Rich Search Results

You may have noticed that certain searches provide more in-depth results (such as Wikipedia, Google maps or links to videos) than others. This is another “wave” within the SERP Ocean that is expected to take shape. This is actually considered to be more of an ongoing trend than a future prediction (2).

Sites that rank higher and which are able to offer high-quality content are likely to enjoy a better visual presence within the SERP in general. This professional appearance will obviously lead to higher inbound hits and increased conversion rates. Meta tags, adding PageMap data and rich snippets can all help you to develop such a presence.

Mobile-Friendly Advertisements

This should once again come as no great surprise considering the emphasis that is now placed upon mobile-responsive websites. For some time, Google has been adapting their search engine to accommodate the needs of modern mobile phones. However, we should note here that they recently filed for a patent to transform the bulk of their texts to meet the needs of the smartphone-wired consumer (3). Why is this important for your site? Assuming that your page is not able to meet the needs of the mobile user, its rankings will suffer even more than in the past. So, it is now more important than ever before to include such features as long-scrolling pages, easily downloadable graphics and an overall uncluttered page to appeal to the mobile user.

As we have mentioned previously, there is still a number of questions in relation to what we may or may not see emerge from the bowels of Google in the coming months. We have only highlighted some of the most important areas to take into account. Adapting to these trends now can save you a great deal of time and frustration in the not-so-distant future.

Richard Tipsword
MarketHive Developer

Sources:

  1. http://seopressor.com/blog/2016-google-algorithm-changes-14-predictions-from-google-patent/

  2. https://support.google.com/customsearch/answer/1626952?hl=en

  3. http://mobilemarketingmagazine.com/google-velocity-targeted-advertigins-patent/

 

Twitter Made Easy

Twitter Made Easy

Making a success of any business today would be better served if the internet was used. The internet being the far reaching tool that it is, helps to create the desired revenue for the successful business venture. The internet, specifically the social media tools have over time proven to be the most successful. Learn about Twitter here.

Twitter Basics

Tools like twitter can effective create the attention that is necessary in getting the information about the business to the wider audience. This is done with virtually no cost involved.

The planned site must is attractive enough to be the cause of the twitter exercise thus ensuring the desired amount of traffic to the site. Providing material that is worth discussion or viewing with the intention of dispersing information is very important as this is what will cause the interest to stay.

As the twitter platform is comparatively personal. Ensuring the exchanges have some form of follow ups is beneficial to the host. If the users are made to feel special, then it is almost guaranteed that the host site will garner the desired traffic which will eventually be converted to revenue.

Spending some time to personally address issues or comments will encourage the user to stay loyal as they perceive their participation to be well received and valued.
Being consistent, as in a daily basis also is another element to consider at it allows feedback and comments to be shared from a more current standpoint.
Building a rapport with the users is always a good idea as both parties will eventually attest to benefit from the exchanges. Building the list of customers, prospects, potential buyers all depends on whether the material being discussed is of high interest value.
Having a great product or service is of no value if it is not made known to the masses.

 
 Know The Difference Between Posting And Spamming

Spamming is perhaps the most annoying application that most internet users are weary of. Basically the spam element involved the sending of material in a continuous and abundant manner causing the recipient to be overwhelmed with unwanted material.

This will basically cause a lot of problems when the inbox becomes jammed with all the unwanted solicitations.

Therefore one needs to be careful to ensure the material posted is designed and posted in a way to does not cause it to fall into the spam category.

Most spasms target individual users who use the direct email messaging platform regularly. These email listing are more often than not “stolen” from other more legitimate sources with the intention of using the said list to post the material categorized as spam.

The two main types of spam but both are an equally unwelcomed solicitation.

Postings however are very different in its original design and intention aspect. Though having the same desired reach of the target audience, the posting element is used to create visibility on the internet but with the distinct difference of wanting to create an interaction.

The message is replied to in the form of email, internet forums and use net. The benefits of posting may include being able to harness direct visitors to the site, branding position, promotion of the site and its material of services or products, creating external links and many more positive contributions.

Posting also provides maximum visibility online. The classified ad site can be used without being feared as being categorized as spam and with this comes the advantage of being marketed effectively.
The hopeful result here is that through the posting even the uninterested viewer may be convinced enough to make the transition into making a more positive commitment.

 Be Clear On What You Are Promoting

Getting noticed on the online business arena is only possible if viewers are clear on what they are viewing. Put up ambiguous posting will not help to ensure the target audience nor will it ensure a successful presence on the internet.

 Some Tips

Here are some points to consider in ensuring the posting is clear and understood:

• Deciding and designing the material to be posted must follow one theme. When the material posted does not correspond with promotional tone then it can be rather confusing. Therefore the theme should be decided even before the actual designing of the posting is started.

• Understanding what the desired end goal is, contributes to the actual tools and formats that will eventually be utilized. When the goal is clearly identified, then the best suited tools available for internet marketing can be identified for its corresponding contributions.

• Besides the posting content it is also important to provide information on the actual supporting freebies, promotional gimmicks, possible back links, and any other content that would function as an advantage to the viewer visiting the site.

• The posting should also be very clear in the actual visual presentation style so that the viewer will immediately be able to identify with the content without having to resort to various clicks and long winded reading material.

Besides doing all the above using the right platform to get the posting to the target audience is also something that should be given serious consideration.

Newsletter promotion, blog digest, using the social media network, websites, and other forms of making things personal will all help to gain the attention of the target audience effectively.
The promotional plan and promotional strategies should comfortably merge into the same theme. This should in turn have the overall focus of the main achievement being sought.

Communicate With Others To Convey Professionalism

There are several different aspects that are usually addressed in the quest to stay professionally based with online dealings. The individual has the advantage if professionalism is extended and perceived to exist.

Perhaps the first area that professionalism should ideally cover is the area of etiquette. The universally accepted common elements would include having the semblance of being polite, being able to address each situation with a level of sincerity, working towards creating satisfies customers and many more.

Taking the time and effort to consider the subscriber list or group as a whole and addressing them as if each one was an individual concern and special would allow the positive basis of the relationship to be built.

Making a positive impact is also another way of portraying professionalism. When the other party is assured that the concerns will be addressed and then ensuring the follow up procedures are followed will create the level of professionalism that few can refute.  

Using email addresses that are appropriate and professional sounding is also necessary if one want to be taken seriously in the business arena. Simple but often overlooked is the need to ensure all content is accurately written and factual.

Using a suitable descriptive subject line is also a way to showing professionalism and avoids being identified or classified as spammers who also have casual addressing choices. Being specific, clear, reasonable and to the point is also showing professionalism as most people do not have the time or inclination to entertain unsolicited interruptions.

The items included in the signature should be of a professional design and content. Unnecessary information should not be included as it would not be deemed necessary.

Ensure all communications is done professionally and with only information sought exchanged. Keep all exchanges short, accurate and to the point.

 Learn How To Participate With The Community

Using twitter to enhance presence and positioning within the social platform is one of the reasons it was become a much sought after tool. This tool allows the desired traffic to be directed to the site through the twitter exchanges which act indirectly as a good advertising tool.

 Check In

The following are some of the recommendations that should be utilized in the quest to participate effectively:

• Making use of the hashtag symbol (#) followed be the name of abbreviation will allow for the sharing of posts between the viewers of a certain group and also follow the twitters connected to the same or similar hashtags. This particular norm has managed to successfully and effectively create the twitter chat that is both exciting and informative.

• For the more experienced twitter dabblers using the twitter chat tool while ensuring the twitter station is well tuned to filter out all unnecessary and annoying noises is important. As there is often a lot of static and other background noises the actual quality of the exchange is more often than not compromised thus the need to intentionally focus on this elimination.

• Upon identification of the hashtag for the desired community or group and the corresponding twitter char tool that is most workable, logging in should be the next step taken. Sometimes timing and dates do play a role, as the particular group chat may only be scheduled to fit a preordained pattern. Also remembering to include the hashtags in one’s own tweets is important so that the comments and question posted can be viewed by other too. In this medium it is also possible to include and also popular to see the expertise of a moderator helping to guide the elements of the discussion to ensure all stay focused on the subject at hand and also some sort of decorum is adhered to.

 Learn How To Make The Most Of Your Account And Profile

There are several effective ways to maximize the use of the twitter tool to enhance the account and profile of a site. The more exposure the site is able to attract the better the prospects of increased revenue earned.

Tips

The following are just some recommendations on how to go about achieving this ideal scenario:

• Perhaps the foremost point to make would be to effectively use the twitter tool to find and add newer contacts to an already existing list. The literal concept here is follow and be followed. Using emails as another follow up tool will encourage the viewer to pursue the initial contact.

• Letting the viewing audience know that there is a twitter page where your antics can be followed is part of the social networking engine. Using the other tools on the social networking platform to announce this is quite effective.

• Adding the twitter information to the email signature is also another way to allow and encourage viewers to follow the postings.

• Blogging about the twitter page being featured is also encouraged. Reminding all viewers of the regular intervals of posting through the blogging tool will create the excitement to encourage them to keep tabs on the latest information being dispensed.

• The twitter widget is also another additional beneficial element to make use of as this allows the other viewers to be aware of the frequency of the twitting exercise. The twitter widget should be added to the site of blog.  

• Listing on the twitter directories is another way to explore the possibilities of getting noticed. These directories are very effective in getting the site noticed by those seeking similar information.

• Ensuring the twitter page is attractive and attention grabbing will create the interest in wanting to follow the page. Use eye catching background and color schemes, avatars and bio information.

Avoid Over Promoting

Over promoting is a very dangerous category to fall into as this may eventually cause the viewing audience to turn elsewhere for the information they seek thus severely damaging the twitter page’s chances of making a success of whatever is being featured. Therefore it is necessary to check that this negative element does not appear and cause the damaging effects.
Be Cautious

Twitters have a “language” of their own and understanding and using it is both necessary and beneficial if the individual hosting a twitter site wants to be taken seriously in this arena.

There is a need to ensure the various new terms used as posting material which does not adhere to this will eventually get the site discredited or ignored. Choosing an unsuitable name is also to be avoided as this will cause the professionalism element to be severely discredited and not taken seriously.

Getting into a bragging mode with the intention of promoting something is a thinly disguised attempt to get noticed. When done often enough it will cause the exact opposite effects instead, as those originally viewing the site will end up being exasperated and bored.

Bad choice of timing is also another element to avoid as it may seem that the tweets are being run too frequently and even if the viewing was missed initially.

The unsolicited frequency of the tweeting exercise will eventually cause annoyance as viewers may no longer be interested in the same information being posted.

More often than not this self promoting material can get redundant even if what is being promoted is useful and relevant in the host’s perspective.

Repetitive information will become stale. Sometimes when there is too much promoting done, the basic need to address certain issues are overlooked or ignored. This will frustrate the participating viewer as the concerns fail to be addressed effectively.

Follow And Use Relevant Tweets
In order to gain beneficial leverage in the online business platform various advantages elements should be sourced and utilized as often as possible. Following and using relevant tweets does have its benefits and it should be worth taking the time and explore this further. Below are some of the reasons why following and using relevant tweets can be useful and beneficial:
Be Relevant

Making use of the hashtags will allow the relevant searches to be more efficient and convenient. It increases the chances of the tweets being viewed by those interested in the particular area being featured. However using multiple hashtags should be avoided as it will only be categorized as spam.

Using twitter to check what the competitors are doing in terms of new launches, promotions, products, services and a variety of other progressive exercises is definitely a wise move to make. This information will help to enhance one’s own endeavors and bring about more compatible percentages of increased success.  

Tweets should also be carefully analyzed for its popularity and responsive presence. Tweaking the information posted or ideas exchanged in order o attract attention is necessary in order to stay relevant.

In order to do this one must first understand the abbreviations commonly used by the twitting participants. This is the only way one will be able to follow and understand the contents of the tweet.
 
Wrapping Up

And finally…Keeping track of the hottest and most relevant topics being discussed or featured by twitter participants is important in the quest to stay informed of the market sentiments. This is most important when there are business projections and planning to be explored. Understanding the top trends or interest of the viewing participants will give the individual an idea of what will work and what wont for that particular period in time.

Richard Tipsword
MarketHive Developer

How To Drive More Traffic To Your Blog

blogging

blogging,markethive

How To Drive More Traffic To Your Blog

Do you own a blog or two? Having a hard time generating traffic to your blog? Would you like to increase your page count?
These are often a blogger’s dilemma. Creating a blog is relatively easy, however, maintaining it to drive in more traffic is the hard part. If you have been experiencing this, there is no need to fret. All bloggers new and old are still bumping into this concern. Here are some tips to help you address this.

Content

More than anything, any reader would be interested to go back to your blog frequently because of the value of its content. As much as possible, make sure that every blog post is truly worth posting. Make sure that the content is appealing and enticing. Make your blog educational by adding in elements of suggestions and even question-and-answer portions, then update continuously your blog. Make sure you do it at least once a week. This will allow your avid readers to expect something new every week.

Social Media

Social media is a very powerful tool that allows you to share your blog easily. You can use this as an instrument to show your blog to other people. Frequently sharing your blog post to social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, allows more people to know about the existence of your blog. For starters, you can begin by sharing the link of your blog post to your Facebook or Twitter accounts, or perhaps you can create a fan page dedicated for your blog. You can also share your posts to different FB groups for a wider audience share.

Forums

Creating a blog means you are an expert on something. To increase your authority, you can share your blog to forum sites. Create an account to a forum that, in one way or another, would easily connect to the theme of your blog. If your blog is about cars, you can join various car enthusiasm forums. You can increase your blog's visibility by participating in the conversation while dropping your blog links as part of your answer. You can even include it in your profile signature.

There are many means and ways to drive traffic to your blog. However, effort must be consistent. It is not an overnight miracle. As a blogger, you must have the dedication to not only write decent content, but also sharing it to others. These are relatively simple tips and ways that you can do in order to get your traffic rolling.

Ida Mae Boyd
Developer

How Can Press Release Increase Web Traffic?

press release

press release

How Can Press Release Increase Web Traffic?

Publicity is crucial when running a business, whether your business is located offline or on the Internet. When a business has little or even no budget to promote, "Press Releases" are the most advantageous method to promote your business.

Writing press releases has become a good way to drive targeted traffic to your website. In fact, if you are not writing press releases you are missing the best way to boost targeted web site traffic to your website.

Online press releases provides a good platform to reach massive online communities. A well prepared press release would attract journalists and is well optimized for distribution to a targeted audience.

The following are the three effective ways to increase targeted traffic to your website.

Press Releases can create hundreds of back links to your website.

  • By publishing press release to News services on the Internet, you can get links from highly rated web sites.  Additionally, press releases will be picked up by other sites too that have similar content which creates even more links pointing to your site.
     
  • Generating the links around the web towards websites increases its page rank automatically. Since the page rank goes up the higher site will be ranked in the search engines. As a result, more traffic will be driven to the website from the search engines.
  • Regular press releases distribution about the website will emboss a brand name at the forefront in minds of the people. Keeping a business in front of the public is one of the best ways to promote a business and press releases is a great way to do so. The more often the website appears on the net the more it’s perceived as an expert in its niche.

How to draft an excellent press release:

  • The beginning should be solid: Remember to make your title and initial lines cover, what you want to express. The remaining part of your press release should depict detailed information.
  • Use product name repetitively: Repeat placements of the name of your service or product to make it eminent. For example write “Search Engine Optimization” instead of writing “SEO” this would make your product name much popular.
  • Draft it for Journalists/Media agencies: The media agencies and journalists would grab your press release and publish it in their publications; they may slightly edit your press release.
  • Consider the viewer’s way: You should consider to whom you are targeting your press release for, and what is their interest. Think, if you were a part of audience, would you like to read the press release you have written.
  • Make your press release appear practical: Point out real facts of your company/organization, as readers are already so scholar enough to find out ‘what’s true and what’s not’?
  • Make your story include real facts: Avoid untrue examples and add-ons. If you find the content is using too much added extras, make it natural and real. Your press release should be in an active voice, not passive. Verbs in the active voice make your press release live.
  • Use only sufficient words: Avoid using superfluous adjectives, extravagant language, or unnecessary expressions like “The most powerful”. Tell your story with lesser words, as verbosity distracts from your content.
  • Avoid usage of terminology: However, a limited use of terminology would be allowed if required, if you aim to optimize news releases for the Internet search engines. The finest technique to communicate your press release is to speak neatly, using regular words.
  • Keep away from too many exclamations: Too much usage of exclamation point (!) may harm your press release. But, if you have to use an exclamation point, use only one.
  • Get the company’s permission: Companies are very self-protective about their recognition and credibility. So, get written permission before putting in any information or quotes about the company.
  • Company Information: The press release should include a short description of the company, which depicts your company, products, services and a brief history of company.

Now that you have find press releases as one of the best ways to boost targeted traffic to your website, consider using press releases as another tool in your marketing toolbox.

Ida Mae Boyd
Developer

Free Tools for Your Online Business

 

Free Tools for Your Online Business

inbound marketing, blog, content marketing, richard tipsword

 

As a business owner, you want the best for your business but sometimes the budget can get in the way. Never fear, because today there are countless online tools, apps and solutions that you can use to run your online business. Let's not waste any time going into the free tools for your online business. There are over 100 free tools in the list and I saved the best for last so be sure and go through the entire list or start with the last.

 

1) Get an EIN — Even if you aren't going to have employees, it's important to set yourself up so that you don't have your identity stolen. If you're in the USA you can easily get an EIN right now in just a couple of minutes, completely free. This is the number that you'll give, instead of your social security number, to affiliate programs, clients, or anytime someone wants a federal ID number.

 

2) Score.org –– This is an excellent source of information for anyone who wants to start any type of business. You can get so many guides for free such as a business plan start up, financial templates, marketing plans and even a competitive analysis planning template.

 

3) Free Legal Forms — Everyone needs legal forms from contracts to other legal documents. Here you can create many of the legal forms you need (free).

 

4) Disclosure Policy Generator — You will need a disclosure on your website or blog if you are going to sell anything. This disclosure generator is completely free.

 

5) Terms of Use Generator — You may also need a terms of service or terms of use on your website, this is a free generator to use if you're in the USA.

 

6) Quick MBA — Need to learn something real fast about a business topic in any subject from accounting to strategy then Quick MBA is a great website to seek accurate information.

 

7) Khanacademy.org — Want to learn almost anything from experts? You can do it at Khan Academy. This is great if you're a computer programmer and want to brush up on your skills without having to pay to do it.

 

8) Google Learn — If you want to learn how to grow your business online, you can learn how to do it the free way with Learn with Google Beta. You can learn about marketing your business online as well as managing your business online.

 

9) Free Online Marketing Courses — Several colleges actually offer free online courses in marketing. You don't get credit, but you can use this in your business to make it better. Check out the free learning tools at UC Berkeley.

 

10) Enloop.com — You can create one business plan in a PDF version completely free using this software. If you want to get more in-depth you'll need to upgrade but for most people the free version will suffice.

 

11) Google Mail — Everyone knows about Gmail.com and if you don't use it, you should. You can do a lot more with it than you think. For instance, you can check other email accounts, and send as other email accounts, using your Gmail.com account to collect them. All free, of course.

 

12) Google Documents — Found inside Google Drive, you can upload, save, alter, and collaborate on many different types of documents. This is a great way to work with an entire team and ensure everyone has the most recent version.

 

13) Google Forms — A fabulous way to collect information and have it all entered right into a handy downloadable excel file. Google Forms can be emailed, embedded into websites and more. They are automatically saved to your Google Drive upon completion. This can be found inside your Google Drive.

 

14) Google Calendar — Underrated and unappreciated the Google Calendar is amazing. You can have more than one in an account, share them, collaborate, invite others, and more with your Google Calendars. You can even set them up to sync with your mobile device, send you reminder emails and you can get a popup reminder so you never miss an appointment.

 

15) Google Drive — This is where you can save documents, backups, and files. Everyone has some free space for each Google account created. It's unlikely you'll ever use all your free space so you may as well use what you've been given. If you are currently signed into Google, the link will take you to your Google Drive.

 

16) Google Sites — Need to create a fast website to share with others? Look no further than Google Sites to help you with your endeavor. Pick from a variety of templates, or start with a blank one. Follow the steps given and you'll have your site up before you know it.

 

17) Google + Hangouts — There is a lot to learn about Google Hangouts, you can do them privately, on air, and a multitude of ways that boggle the mind. You can use them in so many ways for your business that there isn't room in this report to list them. Check it out for yourself.

 

18) Google Analytics — They say that nothing is ever done until the paperwork is done. In online business, nothing is done without reviewing the metrics. The best way to do so is still free.

 

19) Google Sketch Up — If you need 3D modeling for any reason then Google Sketch Up is for your business. There is a free version which is awesome, as well as a pro version that's way less expensive than other like 3D modeling programs.

 

20) Google Alerts — Everyone needs to monitor their online reputation and one way to do so is with Google Alerts. You can also use it to monitor any topic, name, person, place, or event being discussed across the Internet.

 

21) Dropbox.com — If you need offsite storage solutions, and you really do, then Dropbox should be one of the first ones you try, especially since it's free. What's more is that you get more space for each person you invite to use the service.

 

22) OpenOffice.org — This free productivity suite is an excellent way to get any word-processing type activities completed without having to buy an expensive program.

 

23) Apptivo.com — You can get started with this online project management system using the free version which allows for unlimited users, up to 40 standard apps, still has online support, and the ability to send invoices even with a mobile app. It also integrates with Google Apps. When you have more income you can upgrade relatively inexpensively.

 

24) Freshbooks.com — This is an online invoicing and time tracking software, it is not really an accounting tool, but you can use it in conjunction with other tools and as long as you have less than 3 clients this one is free.

 

25) Nutcache.com — Invoicing and time management is now fun and free. This free service works in many languages, is safe and secure, and is definitely free. If you are one of the first ones to sign up for this time tracking and invoicing service you will never pay.

 

26) Wave Accounting — This amazing accounting suite offers everything you need to keep track of your income 100% free. It's also super easy to use. It offers invoicing and more. All free.

 

27) Expensify.com — If you need to create expense reports in your line of work, this couldn't be more simple and useful. Keep track of expenses and receipts in an organized manner. This software integrates with other solutions.

 

28) PayPal.com — It's free to get started with PayPal and you only pay a percentage of income as you receive it. This is a great way to accept payment for services or products that you sell.

 

29) Square Up — This is a mobile payment processing app that you use on your smart phone. It's free to get started as you only pay a percentage of sales. If you want to sell online, or in a store, or anywhere Square works.

 

30) Appointlet.com — You can use this appointment manager free for an unlimited number of monthly appointments and 1 service. You won't be able to brand yet, but you can get started organizing your meetings and calendar. It works with Google Calendar.

 

31) Doodle.com — A group scheduling app that enables you to send a group invite that allows everyone to collaborate on when the meeting will take place. This helps avoid the back and forth emails that can get everyone confused.

 

32) Survey Monkey — Want to ask your customers questions and get organized answers that are easy to collect, interpret and use? Then Survey Monkey is a great solution. You can use a limited version for free with up to 10 questions and 100 responses.

 

33) Evernote — This software works with all your devices to keep track of everything you want to keep track of it, be it notes for a project, recipes for dinner, a grocery list, whatever it is, you can organize all your files and find them easily and remember everything.

 

34) Boomerang — Want to write an email now but send it later? You can do that with Boomerang for Gmail.com. It gives you a "send later" button in your Gmail and you can tell it when to send an email. The basic plan is free and there are upgrades available.

 

35) Trello.com – Trello is a great way to remember ideas, collect supplies, and get your thought process in order. Organizing anything you want to do is easy with Trello. You can track all your to-dos in one place, and they have a mobile version.

 

36) Mural.ly — Need a vision board to help you brainstorm so you can visually see what you need to do? For a basic plan costing nothing you can get this drag and drop collaboration board today. For people who work better with a visual plan this is a great way to be more productive.

 

37) Cooapp.com –– If you need help keeping your team on the same page then this app can work for you. It keeps track of the work stream, separates out "water cooler" talk, and even has built in time tracking, agenda management and more.

 

38) ProjectLibre.org — This open source project management application and software touts itself a replacement for Microsoft Project and it's completely free. You can choose to use the cloud-based version and have professionals install it for you and set it up for a price, but if you understand the technical aspects you can use this free.

 

39) DropTask.com — You can use it free for some of the features to help manage your daily to-do list better.

 

40) KeePass.info — Can't remember passwords? Neither can anyone else. With KeePass, you only need to remember one password. Yes, it's free too. Amazing and very useful for someone who has many different passwords they're trying to remember.

 

41) Quackit.com — Need a little help with HTML so you can tinker with the code on your website or blog? This site can help you with everything from creating linkable button images to tables.

 

42) Rapportive.com — Works with Gmail so that you can see who you are talking to at all times. It shows their latest Tweets, gives you links to their social media accounts, and allows you to remember and get to know your connections better by putting it all in one spot inside your email.

 

43) Tweepz.com — Want to see who is Tweeting on any topic, location or skill set? Try using Tweepz. You can get inspiration if you're lacking sufficient information about any topic. It’s also a great way to find movers and shakers to follow on Twitter.

 

44) Social Mention — Use this tool to find out who is mentioning you on the social media. You can follow the buzz about any topic which can also help you come up with content for your niche.

 

45) Tweet Alarm — Want to be notified when someone tweets about you, your niche, or a special interest? Well, right now you can do that for free with Tweet Alarm. This can save you a lot of time using Twitter for researching topics.

 

46) Pin Alerts — Like Tweet Alarm this is a way to be notified when someone pins something from your website. It's a great way to keep track of whether your Pinterest marketing is working.

 

47) Mention — Want to find out how many times you're mentioned throughout all social media? You can sign up as one user with one account and get up to 100 mentions per month for free.

 

48) HootSuite.com — Keep your social media better organized and measure the results of your efforts from one dashboard. Many people use HootSuite with great success and you can start out free.

 

49) SocialMention.com — Go to the website and simply type in your keywords, name, Twitter handle, a hashtag or other words into the window, then choose where you want to search. Click search and you're in the know about the trends and buzz of the day.

 

50) Tregia.com — Want to know what another website is doing to get so many visitors and be so successful. You can use this free tool to analyze any website that you want to. It's not cheating, it's smart business to check out your competition. You can also use it to get tips to make your own website better.

 

51) Nutshellmail.com — It's important to monitor the buzz about your business and your competition, now you can do it in your email. Nutshellmail, sends you an email on the schedule you check that visually shows you the activity in your social media accounts.

 

52) Populr — You can open a free account and publish unlimited pages, collaborations and more. Create one page sites, sales pages, point up to three domains to it, and more quickly and it can all be done for free.

 

53) Streak.com — This is a great app that lets you organize your emails inside your Gmail.com so you can keep track of potential deals better. It also offers email scheduling and more. If you need your inbox more organized so you don't lose out on any deals, then Streak is for you.

 

54) FreeCRM.com — You can use the free version which offers no support, and has banner advertising on it, however you can have five users and 2500 contacts, plus it has good basic features. It's a great way to get started with customer relationship management.

 

55) Zoho CRM — Use a limited account with all the features you need to get started with a great customer relationship management tool. Upgrading isn't hard or expensive and the tool really works.

 

56) Opecrx.org – In every way you can imagine, this powerful free tool can help you manage your customers. It offers a true professional CRM suit with truly limitless possibilities. If you can follow the considerable directions and understand more than the average person about the technical aspects this is a bargain.

 

57) Gravatar.com — This is a great service to sign up for, and it's free. You simply sign up and enter all your email addresses, with corresponding headshots of yourself. When you sign onto blogs that use Gravatar.com you'll always have the right picture of yourself.

 

58) HelloSign.com — Doing business online still requires documents to be signed. Stop worrying about doing it in the mail, and you don't have to pay for an expensive software or service to ensure documents are legally signed. Starting out you can get three signatures a month, and premium versions are available.

 

59) EchoSign.com — This is also free, and works with Adobe documents. You can get everything signed fast, online, on your mobile device, and never have to print out a thing. You can sign up to five contracts per month (free).

 

60) MailChimp.com — Need to send out a newsletter but don't have the funds right now to pay? With Mailchimp.com you can have up to 2000 newsletter subscribers before you have to pay a dime. Some people claim you cannot use MailChimp for affiliate links but the truth is, you can as long as they're not on their substantial blacklist. Upgrades aren't that expensive either.

 

61) HARO – Do you want to be a source, or need a source? You can sign up free with HARO which stands for Help a Reporter Out.

 

62) Skype.com — Even with all the other applications come out, Skype is still a winner when it comes to offering free clear, phone quality one-on-one talking ability over the Internet. You can't beat it.

 

63) Free Conference Call – This free service allows you to arrange group phone meetings fast and easy.

 

64) Youtube.com — You need to set up a business account on YouTube.com so that you can share your videos easily with your audience. It's not only free, but if you play your cards right, it can be an additional moneymaker.

 

65) Linkedin.com — If you don't have a Linkedin.com account yet, you must set one up. The basic version is free and there is no reason why you need the advanced version, ever. You can do anything you need to do with the free Linkedin.com business social networking application.

 

66) Facebook.com — A true marvel when it comes to what you can do with it for free, Facebook is a must have for any start up business owner who wants to get the word out about their business. Starting a page or a group for your business on Facebook is necessary today.

 

67) Twitter.com — The popular micro social media network is free, and will always be free for anyone to sign up and use for business or personal uses.

 

68) Tumblr.com — This micro blogging platform is a very popular way to post multimedia content to the web.

 

69) WordPress.com — A free blogging site run by the popular WordPress. Remember this is different from self-hosted WordPress but it's a good way to start as you can always buy a domain and move it to your own hosting later.

 

70) Blogger.com — This is another tool from Google which enables users to create a blog quickly. They even make it possible for you to earn money through Google AdSense.

 

71) Sociopal.comSign up for free to get your business on Facebook, Twitter and start a blog at the same time. In addition, you can get help with marketing. What could be more simple?

 

72) Jing — This is a great way to share your screen and create instant videos to share with others or better explain a process. You simply sign up free, and download the program, and then start sharing.

 

73) Greenshot –Try this free tool to take screenshots of particular areas on your desktop. For instance you may need to capture the full screen then edit and annotate to highlight and help teach someone a process, Greenshot works easily for this purpose.

 

74) Gimp.org — This free open source graphics software is almost as good as big name versions and it's totally free. People say if you can use Photoshop you can use Gimp for the same actions. It won't hurt to try it, since it's free and you are always going to need graphics for your business.

 

75) Pixlr.com — It's hard to believe this gem is free, but it is. You can edit photos in a number of ways and make them really stand out without understanding complicated graphics software.

 

76) Canva.com — Another, free application that works great to create banners, presentations, and other types of graphics for you to use across the web on your blog or social media. You'll be asking yourself the entire time you're using this, is it really free? Why, yes, yes it is free.

 

77) ChartGizmo.com — This is a free software application that enables you to create awesome charts and diagrams from your data. Plus, even though it's free there is a nice manual to teach you how to use it.

 

78) Creative Docs — You can download this software and use it free to create awesome documents with a kick. It works with Windows and is a free download. You can create polygons, Bezier curves, different styles and more to make your documents, flyers and posters pop.

 

79) Draw.io — This is a software program that allows you to create diagrams and save them to your computer, Dropbox or Google Drive automatically. If you need visual representation of any type of content you can create it easily and intuitively with Draw.io.

 

80) FlowChart.com — Currently in Beta, so it's free to use to create awesome flow charts. Everyone needs a flowchart occasionally, and this is a great way to create one for your business.

 

81) Tableau Public — Want to visualize your information in a new way? Tableau public allows you to create visual representations of your data for free. Create interactive graphs, and make it easier for your audience to interact with your data.

 

82) Fring.com — Need to have chats with customers, or your team on the go? This is a great way to do it. You get free talk, text and video calls with this mobile application.

 

83) Weebly.com— If you need a website you can get a basic site up and running, fast. Then upgrade later. The website builder is an easy to use drag and drop builder. You sign up free and then choose the focus of your site, a brochure site, a blog or a store. Then, choose a theme and get started. It's simple and fast to get online. Once you start earning money, you can easily upgrade to a site with your own domain for as little as 3 dollars a month.

 

84) WordPress.org — This is a free open source website builder. To use it, you will need to pay for a domain name, as well as hosting. You can get inexpensive hosting through Mom Webs, and they'll actually throw in a free domain name for you and load your first instance of WordPress too.

 

85) Google Publisher Plugin For WordPress — Is a custom plug in created for and by Google to support webmasters using AdSense and other Webmaster Tools. It's still in Beta Release and it's a good time to try it since it's free. Although, it's likely to remain free. It's Google.

 

86) WP-Drafts For Friends — This WordPress plugin allows you to set a time where people can see a preview of your draft posts with a special link even if they're not users of your site. This is a great way to enable people to give you some tips before you publish it to the world, or give special people a sneak peak.

 

87) AGV Antivirus — This is a free antivirus software that you can use to protect your computer from receiving infected files. It works with many web browsers and the free version works fine for most people.

 

88) Microsoft Security Essentials — If you have a Windows based computer then this is a great free antivirus tool for you to use. It works really good, is completely free, and there is no need for other antivirus software when you use it.

 

89) All In One WP Security & Fire Wall — You need to keep your WordPress site safe from intruders and this will do the job.

 

90) Audacity — A free open source, recording software that you can use for editing sound, recording, and podcasting. It works across operating system platforms and works exceptionally well. This is a good choice for any business owner who wants to add podcasting to their content mix.

 

91) Odiogo — This is a great way to put a voice to your blog posts, making every single blog post on your website just like a podcast. Works great with TypePad, Blogger, WordPress and others.

 

92) Sparkol.com Videoscribe — This is a great way to do fast explainer videos. You've seen them, with the hand writing the words. The free version can be used forever, and while it has less to offer than the upgraded paid version, you can get by just fine with the free version for a long time.

 

93) AnyMeeting.com — This is a great program as long as you don't mind a few advertisements. They're not intrusive so it's a good option when you want a full featured online web meeting / webinar application and don't have the money up front.

 

94) Managemeet.com — This is a great tool to use if you need to have business meetings, collaborate with others and want to do it face-to-face without the travel involved. It's free to use as long as you don't plan to save the meeting or charge for attendance.

 

95) MeetingBurner.com — This is a great way to host, record, and participate in a webinar or meeting for 10 people are less, with no ads.

 

96) Zoho Meeting — This is a great meeting software that you can use for 1 on 1 purposes only for up to 1 hour each time for free.

 

97) MoneyPress: Amazon Edition – Would you like to sell Amazon items right off your WordPress site and make a commission? Use this plugin to make it super fast and easy.

 

98) WP e-Commerce — This is a free shopping cart plugin for your WordPress website. It's very easy to install and figure out how to use it to make an attractive store right on your WordPress site and take payments via PayPal.

 

99) 1FreeCart.com — This is a free shopping cart, that also has a free affiliate program application with it. The free version does have ads on it, but you can always upgrade later.

 

100) PayGear.com — This is a full featured shopping cart, with affiliate marketing tools, that you can get free. You are only charged a percentage of sales. You can even upgrade later to a paid plan so that your fees never get too high if your sales should take off.

 

101) MembersGear.com — This is a free membership software package that you can download and use in conjunction with PayGear. You never pay unless you make a sale. They do offer paid upgrades including an inexpensive plugin to help the membership software work with WordPress.

 

102) Cafe Press — Want to sell premiums from your website like T-shirts, hats, mugs and so forth? You can set up your store free with CafePress.com. It even has a built-in option to offer an affiliate program.

 

103) WebStore.com — If you ever wanted to sell on eBay.com but didn't want to pay the high fees you can now sell at Webstore.com and avoid those fees. It's a little "wild-wild-west" but it does work.

 

104) VistaPrint.com — You can get free business cards from VistaPrint. You might wonder how this is helpful when you run an online business, but it is very help. You never know when you'll run into someone that you want to do business with. Having the card will help you break the ice.

 

105) MarketHive — Is a FREE multi-million dollar platform which evolved from Veretekk. It's primary purpose is to empower the average Jane and Joe to lofty heights as entrepreneurs. Markethive not only invites you to become a member of the Entrepreneur Social Network, but to receive Inbound Marketing tools for your agendas and campaigns giving you the Unfair Advantage on the Internet. These tools include: Auto-responders, Blog Caster (publish your blogs to millions of Social Networks), Blog Swipping, Connect your Blogs (Press Releases) to unlimited WordPress blogs, Lead generation, Conference rooms (HEAR THAT?..your own conference room!), Capture pages, Email Capture Plugins, Daily live workshops, WP Subscribe Plugin, Tiny URL, Website Rotator, Lead Page Plugins, Lead Capture Pages

 

As you can see there is a wide variety of free software, education, code, and more that can help with setting up a website, email marketing, affiliate marketing, podcasting, blogging, selling products, hosting webinars, using social media, and anything you need to do for and with your business. When you are starting a business on a shoestring, an Internet business is the best kind to start due to all the free applications and tools that are available. What are you waiting for?

Six Easy Steps To Measure Social Media Success

social media

social media

Six Easy Steps To Measure Social Media Success

Measuring social media success is a very important matter to business minded people. Many people are talking about these because marketing in social media is one of the effective keys that unlocks success.

A true business minded person really need to blog, making sure that the blog has fresh post.

In addition, making daily tweets on twitter and consistently posting status on your friend’s wall etc. are the usual social marketing tactics done daily.

Sometimes doing all of these steps are not enough, you cannot really tell if these works effectively and worth all of your effort. If you want to step up your game, and you can admit that your one of those business people who are unsure of the strategies that their conducting. You’re in luck today, because this article lists the Six Steps on How to  measure, Social Media Success below:

Step 1 – Identify your goals. All your strategies and plans are useless, if you don’t set your goals. It will be impossible for you to know what plans and strategies will affect the business. You need to have realistic, clear and systematic goals in order to achieve your goals. This is the same thing if you want success in your marketing moves in social media. Just like in real life, planning a step by step process and targeting short term goals to reach longer goals are important to achieve success in social media marketing.

Step 2 – Be familiar with web analytic tools. Web analytics will help you measure the success in your marketing endeavors. These tools have a great role in the analysis of marketing in social media. They calculate the amount of website traffic and determine which sites get the most number of visitors. At the same time, demographics of visitors are recorded with the tools, to include duration of website visit, language and nationality of the visitors, conversion rates, unique visits and others. Overall, these tool analysis aids to be familiar with the behavior and activities of the customers, which serves as a guide on what, when and where to improve.

Step 3 – Be familiar with ROI (Return on Investment). This measures and evaluates the efficiency of the investment. You should consider the well-defined and realistic goals for a campaign in social marketing. This includes the increase subscribers, followers and fans to create a large foundation of customers on social network sites. You should also watch out for the amount of traffic that you receive to your website. It is also important to increase consumer interaction and engagement. The number of sales if it increases or decreases is also important. The number of conversion should also be checked in order to understand your investment returns.

Step 4 – Create a strategic plan. Creating strategies for your social media is an easy thing to do, utilizing this strategic plan to your advantage, is a different thing. It is then more important that you understand how the strategy you created will be useful to your marketing solutions.

Step 5 – Identify the latest usage of techniques with regards to the combination of marketing in social media. Remember the current social media activities that you are utilizing. Determine the duration of time that you’ve been engaging in the various activity and write down the important channels you are using.

Step 6 – Appoint a social media focal person to your business. A person knowledgeable with marketing in social media, who can evaluate and analyze the development of your marketing social media efforts is a big help. Monitoring your progress, will make you keep on track while informing you where and when to perform changes when needed.

These are the six steps to know how you’ve did with using social media.

Your business will then have tangible information which you could use for various facets of your business, particularly sales, marketing, and customer relations. Implementing these steps will help you with tracking you efforts!

Ida Mae Boyd
Developer

Consider the Following Recommendations When Designing a Mobile-Friendly Website

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

Before we get into what defines a mobile-friendly website, let’s first discuss why this is even relevant.  About a year ago, Google released its algorithm known as Mobileggedon.  In essence, this algorithm penalizes websites that are not “mobile-friendly” by decreasing that website’s ranking in mobile search results.

So what may have been the catalyst to releasing Mobileggedon?   Since 2014, mobile devices have been the primary devices utilized to access the internet.   Desktop is still important, but it is no longer considered first-line.  Therefore, Google’s Mobileggedon algorithm is like a “tough love” approach in encouraging businesses to always design their websites with mobile devices in mind.

When developing a mobile-friendly website/webpage, consider the following recommendations:

1) Do NOT design a separate mobile website from your desktop version because it is redundant!

Think about it.Why would you create two different websites (mobile & desktop versions) that contain the same content?Google already penalizes websites for duplicate content.So why would you allow your website to be penalized for duplicate websites?

2) Use Responsive Web Design (RWD)

According to Wikipedia, RWD is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

From a technical standpoint, RWD employs use of flexible layouts, flexible images, and cascading style sheet media queries. This allows a web page to be able to detect the visitor’s screen size and orientation; and change the layout accordingly (think auto-adjusting to fit your mobile device’s screen).

3) Always include a viewport meta tag

The viewport is a virtual area used by the browser-rendering engine to determine how content is scaled and sized.   The viewport meta tag tells your browser that the web page needs to fit the screen.

Typically, when loading full-sized web pages, mobile browsers display the entire page at reduced magnification.When a website does not make use of a viewport meta tag, users may have to double-tap or pinch the screen to adjust the web display.The below illustration shows a typical web page layout displayed on a mobile screen:

In the above example, users typically must rotate their mobile screens, pinch to magnify, etc so that the content can be seen.

Applying a viewport is critical in creating web pages that are mobile-friendly.

The following shows a sample screen layout without a viewport. The initially loaded page is zoomed out much too far to be legible, while zooming in makes content extending off the right edge of the screen difficult to access:

This reflects the browser's default assumption that content should extend 980 pixels wide. Mobile browsers must make that assumption in order to render pages that are not optimized for display on mobile screens.

Finally, here’s the above screen layout after applying the viewport:

There are many different configurations that you can specify your viewport to control.  To explain the technical details any further would be beyond the scope of this article.The idea here is to understand the concept (and importance) of applying viewport meta tags to your webpage.

4) Font sizes and button size matter

Ideal font size is 14px.When creating labels or forms, consider reducing the font to at least 12px.  Same concept applies for buttons.   For optimal viewing, consider creating button size dimensions of at least 44px by 44px.

5)Use high-resolution images

According to Wikipedia, image resolution is the detail an image holds and can be applied to describe digital images, film images, and other types of images. Essentially, a higher resolution means more image detail.

Having extremely high-resolution images will prevent pixilated or even blurry images when viewed on a retina-quality screen.

6) Remove the default zoom

Using auto-zoom may interfere with a web page’s layout elements, especially for images and navigation content. They may appear small or too large in your layout.

The solution here is to make use of viewport meta tags.Again, to describe the technical details of this process in any more detail would be beyond the scope of this article.

7) Use YouTube videos on your site

Because YouTube already utilizes responsive web design (RWD) coding, any risk of difficulties in viewing videos on a mobile device are theoretically eliminated.

8) Don’t constrain your user’s mobile experience

Always include a “go to full website” or “view desktop version” option at the bottom of your site. This will give your website visitors the ability to choose how they want to view your website’s content.

9) Never stop testing

Even after your responsive website is complete, the testing never ends.Be sure to test your webpage on various mobile devices: Apple, Android, Windows, etc.Leave no stone unturned including buttons, layout, font, displays, etc.

Even more important is to allow someone who fits your target [demographic] user.Consider including someone who does not have an extensive technical background especially if this person comprises your primary demographic of potential users/visitors of your website.

Did I miss anything?  Your comments are always welcomed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using Social Networking Websites to Promote Your Blog

social networking

social networking

Using Social Networking Websites to Promote Your Blog

Do you know what the main purpose of a social networking website is? If you are an avid internet user, you likely do. Social networking websites are online communities that make it easier for internet users to meet and communicate with each other.

If you are an internet user who enjoys using the internet to meet new people, there is a good chance that you already belong to a social networking website.

What about an online blog? Do you have one of them? If you do, do you know that you could use your social networking website to promote your blog?

Promote your blog? Why would you want to do that? Honestly, if you have to ask yourself that question you probably shouldn’t even have one. The whole purpose of a blog is to document your thoughts, views, and opinions on a particular topic, issue, or subject.

What good will your blog do if no one reads it. In addition to sharing your thoughts with the rest of the world, did you know that you could also make money from your blog?

You can sign up for affiliate programs or other programs like Google AdSense. If you are using your blog to make money then you will definitely want to promote it.

When it comes to promoting blogs, there are many blog owners who decide to let the search engine do the work for them. Search engines, such as Google Chrome, Yahoo, and Bing use special techniques that reads the content on your website.

That content is then used to rank your website with particular keywords. This means that you run a blog on graduating from high school in New York, there is a good chance that your blog will appear in searches done on New York high schools. Although many blogs are successfully ranked in search engines, not all are. That is why you are advised against relying solely on search engines, when it comes to promoting your blog.

As previously mentioned, if you love meeting with or talking to people online, there is a good chance that you belong to a social networking website or community.

The individuals that you talk to and that are in your community are likely the individuals that you wish to target. Since most social networking websites work to connect internet users who have the same goals and common interests, there is a good chance that your online friends will enjoy reading your blog. But, before they can read your blog, you have to let them know that it exists.

When it comes to promoting your blog on social networking websites, you have a number of different options.

Your first option is to include a link to your blog in your community profile or profile page. This will allow other community members to checkout your blog, only if they wish to do so.

The other way is to inform your online friends of your blog through private messages. Once you join a social networking website and create or join a network of friends, you should easily be able to communicate with those friends. Sending each of your friends a private message with information and a link to your blog tends to be more effective than just placing a link in your profile or on your profile page.

Although there is a good chance that you are already a member of a popular social networking website, you may not be. If you are not already a member, but would like to become one, you will need to find a social networking website to join.

This can easily be done with a standard internet search. In your search, you will likely find a number of popular networking sites, such as, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter. Before becoming a community member at one of these networking sites, you may want to first examine the website to ensure that it is everything that you want it to be.

As you can easily see, there are a number of different ways that you can go about promoting your blog on online social networking websites. You never known, but, in addition to promoting your blog, you may also make new friends along the way.

Ida Mae Boyd
Contributor

How to Productively Create & Optimize Your Professional Network

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

According to Wikipedia, a professional network service (also known as a  professional network) is a type of social network service that is focused solely on interactions and relationships of a business nature rather than including personal, non-business interactions.

The following are suggestions for creating a more productive, professional network:

1. Utilize a fresh pair of eyes:

When working on a project, consider finding someone from a department/discipline, etc. to take a look.   Having the objective opinion from someone outside your area of expertise may be just what’s needed in order to uncover issues that may have otherwise gone overlooked. 

If the project involves a product to be employed by a certain demographic, then it would probably be a great idea to make sure that you’ve acquired the objective opinions of individuals from that group, especially if you (the project manager) don’t adequately represent that demographic).

2.  Be open to working on projects (& working with people) outside your realm of expertise (or department):

Volunteering to assist others from other departments, sectors, etc will yield an opportunity to better understand the perspectives of others who are not within your area of expertise or department.  This will not only provide a forum for additional professional engagement outside your usual professional network, but also allow for a non-biased opinion on a particular issue within the project.

3.  Consider planning an informal gathering outside the workplace:

For example, you could invite a colleague for coffee or brunch, explaining your interest in projects they may have done in the past or are currently working on.  Since this is an informal meeting/gathering, this would also be a great time to determine any common interests outside the workplace. 

The key here is finding the balance between professional and personal matters during the interaction.  It would also probably be best to limit any informal gatherings to daytime hours.

Establishing rapport with specific objectives in mind such as learning more about the company and discussing commonalities outside the workplace will likely make it even easier to eventually work on a project with that person or to simply learn more about opportunities for growth within the company.

4.  Join a professional organization that’s reflective of your industry

This strategy is beneficial in several ways including extending your professional sphere of influence and establishing rapport with other likeminded individuals (professionally and/or personally).  Essentially, it is one of the easiest ways to network while looking for opportunities to advance your career.

In my industry of healthcare, I am a member of several professional societies including the National Medical Association, Medical Society of Georgia, and the American Board of Internal Medicine, to name a few.

5.  Try to make yourself available to assist others when asked:

Obviously, this is easier said than done and there can be a fine line between feeling needed and feeling abused.  With that said, this is still a great way to further establish rapport with colleagues in and outside your department or professional background.   It is a great way to show that you are reliable but be sure to not overextend yourself.  Do what feels comfortable and reasonable.

Your comments are always welcomed!  Did I miss anything?  Please feel free to share.