Archives for June 2011

Personal Branding: Professional and Personal Relevancy

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A guest post by Henry Fitzgerald @hfitzy34

It is very interesting to see the ways in which history repeats itself; from the resurgence of bell-bottoms to marketing phenomena. In 1911, if a company made a good product, people talked about it, word spread and that company would grow. Now in 2011, you could argue that people physically talk to each other less. This may be true, but it’s because we have become a textual society; things we used to talk about, we type about. Instead of sharing info with just neighbors and family, we share with entire friends-lists across multiple platforms. The Internet is the new word of mouth. Direct mail campaigns and other print advertising are still great ways to
get the word out about your business. But, if you want to maximize your reach, you need to know how to use social media to connect to people. The first step to doing that is creating an online personal brand.

USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO CREATE A PERSONAL BRAND

There are a couple of reasons to create a personal brand with social media. First, people are interested in reading about other people. What social media does is give faces to companies, and (most) people connect to a face more than they do a logo. If a user finds you interesting, they are more likely to see what your company is all about.

Secondly, you can use your personal brand to share news about current projects, or promote your business to people who are already interested. If a person finds my tweets about running a chimney sweeping business whimsical and pleasant, they may consider contracting my company to have their chimney swept, or recommend me to a friend who needs the service.

HOW DO I USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO CREATE A PERSONAL BRAND?

Many business owners find it hard to connect with clients through social media. How personal can one get on Twitter? Does it have to be all business, all the time, or can I indulge in a tweet about the hotdog I had for lunch? It can be confusing to balance your personal information with the company you represent. Here are some tips for developing your personal brand:

  • Join social media networks that make sense for your industry. If you are a videographer, you’ll want a YouTube or Vimeo account to showcase your work, a Twitter to share news and updates about your business, and a LinkedIn can be your Internet resume.
  • Be present and active on those networks. Join groups. Link to other videographers and comment on their posts. The Internet is your cocktail party, so go mingle and get your name out there.
  • Be instantly captivating. When people look at your blog, profile or Twitter feed, there are two questions you need to answer ASAP: who are you, and why should I care?
  • It’s important to tie everything together, but make sure there isn’t overlap. Tweeting, then posting that tweet on Facebook can be overkill for people who subscribe to you on both platforms. If you publish on one online platform, use the others to point to that, rather than cross post. Additionally, try and make the content on each of your platforms unique
  • Create a handle that is consistent across all platforms. If your Twitter name is @JimRhodes, make sure that is the handle for everything else (Vimeo, Facebook, etc.) Often times, first name-last name combinations are taken, so try a phrase (e.g. “JimRhodesIsWaiting”)
  • Once you have established an online presence, having it tied together in one place is key. Flavors.me is a great place to pull all your sites together and have a starting point for people to explore your brand

Once you’ve cultivated your online brand, you will be better connected, active in the market and showing
potential clients, as well as random visitors that you are serious about what you do.

Henry Fitzgerald is a technology consultant based in Seattle. He has a passion for all things social media and gadget-related. When he isn’t in line for the newest Apple innovation, he spends his time sailing, watching soccer, or attempting to cook. Follow him on Twitter: @hfitzy34 or read up on his tech website: http://www.technected.com

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Stuck for blog post ideas? Write an FAQ!

Question mark

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This post is extracted from the 30 Day Blogging Challenge, a £5 ebook or 30 Day email course aimed at kickstarting your blogging success

Today let’s set up a mini FAQ. We’ve already spoken about how people often search with questions, so let’s put 4 or 5 of the questions you get asked and drop them into a blog post.

For example, I could write ‘Top 5 Social Media Questions’

They could be:

  • Does Facebook really work for business (yes)
  • Is ghost blogging wrong? (no)
  • Isn’t Twitter all about what people had for lunch? (no)
  • Isn’t blogging a waste of time? (no)
  • How do I set up a WordPress blog?

The answers could be a few lines, or a few paragraphs, but they’ll make up the bulk of the post.

What are the questions your client and customers ask you the most? Answer them in today’s blog for a ready made mini FAQ.

Eager to see the rest of the challenges? Get the 30 Day Blogging Challenge ebook for just £5 now

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Research Keyphrases for Better Business Blogging

If your blog is a business blog then the chances are you’re hoping to promote your products or services, and get more sales, right?

Well the great thing about blogs is that they do well in Google, IF you think about how you’re blogging.

You may already know the keyphrases you’re aiming to get good results for on your website, so let’s translate that info into your blogs.

Today, instead of writing a blog, pop over to the Google Keyword Tool and type in your keyphrases to see what other variations come up.

Pick a few of these variations and start thinking how you can incorporate them into your blog titles and copy.

In the 30 Day Blogging Challenge Ebook I talk about the structure of a blog that is written to do well in the search engines, but for that you’ll need to buy the book 😉

Now, don’t just choose generic phrases that have lots of searches – think carefully about this – you want targeted relevant traffic to your blog, right? So think targeted and niche, not generic and widespread.

For example:

Generic phrases:

plumbers

accountants

tax returns

gifts

hotels

kids clothes

business advice

Targeted phrases:

plumbers in berkshire

advice from accountants

last minute tax returns

mothers’ day gifts 2011

low cost hotels in bristol

designer kids clothes

local business advice and help

You can get some great traffic and quick wins on search engines by using less generic phrases.

I cover this in depth in 299 Steps to Blogging Heaven.

Also consider downloading my free 67 Tips on Blogging for SEO.

Your challenge today is to find a handful of useful phrases you could use in your blogging.

This is an extract from the latest Nikki Pilkington ebook The 30 Day Blog Challenge – kickstarting your blogging in just 30 days – get it now while it’s still only a fiver!

Need business blogging help? You need this ebook :)

11,000 words, 56 pages, and more blogging hints tips and help ideas than you can shake a stick at!

We’ve been working on the 30 Day Blogging Challenge ebook for a couple of weeks now, and if I do say so myself, it’s looking fab!

Here’s the list of contents to whet your appetite:

Overview
Welcome to the Challenge
Day 1 – Are you ready?
Day 2 – Top Tips
Day 3 – Call to Action
Day 4 – Questions questions questions
Day 5 – Be their guest
Day 6 – Say something nice
Day 7 – A day in the life
Day 8 – Picture this
Day 9 – SEO
Day 10 – Make it work
Day 11 – How did you do?
Day 12 – Round up, round up
Day 13 – Sing, sing a song
Day 14 – How did you start?
Day 15 – Blog post post mortem
Day 16 – Spread the word
Day 17 – Tag, you’re it!
Day 18 – Comment cava?
Day 19 – Review time
Day 20 – More questions questions
Day 21 – Registration agitation
Day 22 – Ask away
Day 23 – Heads up
Day 24 – Everyone has one
Day 25 – Receive a guest
Day 26 – Testimonials
Day 27 – Multi National
Day 28 – Subscribers
Day 29 – Interview
Day 30  – What did you learn?
Appendix I – Resources to help your blogging
Appendix II – Blogging books
Appendix III – Articles to help your blogging
Why small businesses should blog more
You’re not blogging for YOU you’re blogging for THEM
Make blog posts look better with Zemanta
Want to create more hype about your products or services?
Choosing keyphrases for blogging
Why you should always include a picture in your blogs
A blogger’s code of ethics
And Finally…

If I do say myself, it’s a great book, and at just a fiver, how can you say no?

Visit the 30 Day Blogging Challenge eBook page to find out more and purchase.

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Social Media & SEO Support for Sports Advocate? We’re on it :)

One of our newer clients is more than a little sportier then me 🙂

The fab Sports Advocate offer football training kits, footballs, referee equipment and more from their online shop.

Based in Loughborough, Leicestershire, they ship all over the UK and tell us:

One of our main objectives is to make a positive contribution to grass roots football and good causes within football. We will constantly look for opportunities to invest in clubs and schemes at grass roots level.

So not just great products but a great attitude too!

We’re going to be helping them out with their Higher Google Listings, Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as giving general advice on Social Media and Internet Marketing, so please watch out for them!

And of course, if you need:

Give them a go 🙂

You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter (@sportsadv)

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Facebook EdgeRank 101: What Is It?

Have you ever wondered if your business page was doing all that it could do on Facebook? What if you could learn exactly how well your business’s Facebook presence compared to those of competitors? It’s not uncommon for more and more businesses to rely on Facebook for advertising. However, you might be shocked when you find out exactly how much Facebook is doing your company justice. If you’ve ever wondered whether your Facebook page was making the grade, there is finally a way to find out.

EdgeRankChecker.com take a bunch of values that help determine how much traffic your Facebook page gets, as well as the likeliness of being visible on a Fan’s news stream. The higher the EdgeRank that your Facebook page scores, the higher the visibility you have. Along with being able to check out how you rank against other businesses, EdgeRankChecker.com also offers some valuable advice on how to improve your visibility.

How useful is EdgeRankChecker.com? It depends. The score that you receive is just an estimate. It could be way off, and the equations that the site used are being constantly tweaked in order to get a better view of how Facebook works. For small businesses which just want a rough estimate of how well their online presence is developing, using EdgeRank is a great tool, and can often inspire some hard work in a company’s marketing department.

However, EdgeRank isn’t actually completely solid data. It is an estimate, and shouldn’t be treated as the be-all and end-all of internet marketing. The reason for this is because Facebook has yet to unveil most of the data that would be necessary in order to get a complete picture of internet visibility on Facebook. That being said, it has some definite niche users who can’t get enough of the program. Company owners who are interested to see how they score, or people who are simply curious about how their Facebook page ranks, will love this short but sweet application. Despite being an estimate, many marketing personnel swear by it.

EdgeRank does have some great perks to its algorithmic studies that should be mentioned. For instance one user was raving about how she “can find out the best days to post” using EdgeRank. Many of the users enjoy using EdgeRank for tips on how to increase internet traffic, and the ability to detect Facebook trends that are specific to your Facebook business site.

Have you checked your rank yet? We were pretty happy to have an Edgerank of 20 – let us know what yours is in the comments below!

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What I learned from the Nikki P 30 Day Blogging Challenge

The Challenge Trophy

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A guest post by Lisa Attias of MoreSouth Mediterranean Catering

Or should I have a more exciting title? No, because this is about what Nikki Pilkington teaches online in the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. And hey, now I know SEO! I’ll tell you how it went for me but I’d also like to promote all the other 30 Day bloggers who went on this journey with me. Before you read any further search on Twitter for #30dayblog and tweet about one that you like. It may even be me.. I did 30. Well, almost…

I knew I had to start blogging. It’s the way in the digital age for getting your business known online, but I was so busy cooking for my Hertfordshire catering company, marketing it , bringing my kids up etc. that I had little time.

I knew I had to start blogging. Everyone’s going to want to know what I eat for breakfast every day, so all I had to do was write, write, write. Right? (Or maybe not, Nikki? It’s not cornflakes, by the way.) I had to start. And that’s what Nikki offers in her ’30 Day Blogging Challenge’ – a start, a middle and an end. A structure that not only encompasses what to write that is relevant, but why, when, and how to craft your blogging for business, or whatever other purpose it will serve you.

Every day I got an email telling me what to do, why I should do this and how to achieve it, with references to Nikki’s extensive online guidelines. If I still didn’t get it I could email her. I even got personalized answers!

I created a WordPress site on my website. I created a blog post. And it was read.Voila.

I’ve been blogging for 30 days and now over 100 people read each one. (We are told how to moniter this.)

I have listed ‘more-MoreSouth, the blog’ on numerous sites. Each time that I publish I promote it on various different platforms, and am pleased to see that it is tweeted and facebooked by friends, colleagues and clients. (Funnily enough it did make sense to reveal my breakfast menu once. We get very clear indications about when it is right to be very personal in writing.)

I learned:

  • WHAT to say. Inspiration can come from having a good format as simple as ‘ 3 Top Tips’ or ‘Saying something nice.’
  • WHAT to include in a ‘Call to Action.”
  • WHY it is good to write guest posts on other bloggers’ sites.
  • WHY you should write titles with questions in them.
  • HOW to get targeted traffic from Mr. Google (yes, he’s another of your new readers
  • HOW to track and use results.And how to have an exciting end?

Well the amazing news is that it is still running, and if you want to learn how to write intelligently while having heaps of fun go to http://www.nikkipilkington.com/the-nikki-p-30-day-blogging-challenge-is-here/ (alternatively you can buy the 30 Day Blogging Challenge ebook for just £5)

It might even still be free, [Nikki’s note – it’s not, it’s now £3 🙂 ] but you’ll need to check that out.

Thank you Nikki! Thank you 30x and more. And now I’m going to pop over to you at @nikkipilkington for today’s daily tips.

MoreSouth is a mediterranean catering company in Hertfordshire. Delicious, healthy buffets for corporate and private events. Breakfast catering and working lunches. Weddings, parties and celebrations.  Delivery of fresh breakfasts and lunches to offices from our bakery.

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5 Great Reasons to Use Genesis Framework on Your WordPress Blog or Site

Tapestry Theme - A Tumblog-Style Theme for Wor...

It’s no secret that WordPress has become famous for its useful themes, its amazing customisability, and its affordability. Everyone from college students, to professional bloggers, to business owners love WordPress and its frameworks. The latest framework to become a hit with programmers, business owners, and bloggers alike is Genesis, which costs an extremely reasonable $59.95 (about £36!). Genesis framework is so impressive, that it just seems right to show the top five reasons that using Genesis yields amazing results!

1. Search Engine Optimisation is built in – People who are looking to make their site the next viral webpage need the ability to optimise each and every page for search engines. Businesses that are looking for more sales also would need to get as much search optimisation as possible. Genesis Framework automatically boosts search results, and also keeps the coding of the webpage secure.

2. Genesis comes with unlimited support…- And framework updates, domains, and pages, etc. Genesis is one of the best values for business owners who are looking for free updates, support, and everything else that a great quality site will need. All customers who use Genesis are also given access to free tutorials which help you make an amazing site even better. Considering everything that you get when you buy this framework, Genesis is extremely cost effective. Did anyone mention the free security upgrades?

3. Genesis gives you access to super-speedy turnkey designs – You don’t have to be a software engineer to have a beautiful webpage, and Genesis simply makes it effortless. Genesis gives you 37 different styles to choose from, and more control over your webpage design than ever before. The best part about choosing Genesis is that you need no knowledge of coding to make Genesis work for you. Starting an ecommerce business without the need for a programmer has never been so easy! And if you don’t want to pay for extra themes, there are many free ‘child’ themes out there.

4. Updates are instant with Genesis framework – Genesis allows you to update your blogs, your webpage, and everything else with the push of a button. There is no waiting period, and there’s no need to worry about content being in limbo. Everything that you update is updated in real time.

5. Genesis is hardwired for both business and personal website work. – For customers who are looking for an extremely secure framework which is super-customisable and business-ready, look no further. The high quality of security means that Genesis framework sites are trusted and verifiable. People looking to broadcast specials, opinions, or news to Twitter will find that Genesis offers widgets specifically for that purpose. For bloggers who want to feature a certain story, widgets and layouts are available to make the featured page really pop. Anyone who wants to earn money from ads can do this easily. Simply insert the ad code into any page of your site, and you will be able to start advertising on your site instantly. Genesis works with Clicksor, Adsense, and Azoogle, among other programs.

We’re in the process of moving all of our clients’ WordPress blogs to the Genesis framework – and think you should too!

(And if you need some help with Genesis, drop me a line to nikkipilk@gmail.com)

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*please note that the links in this blog are affiliate links

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