Guest Post: A Glimpse Into the Future: The Essentials for Business Entrepreneurs

This is a guest post from Mark Kirkpatrick, an experienced writer in mass communication in its relation to business globalization.

guestimageIn the business world, it pays to stay ahead of the curve. Marketing, technology, and basic business tactics evolve all the time; and if you aren’t keeping up with the newest thing, it’s easy to get pushed aside. Here is a look at where the business world seems to be going, and what tools will be essential for entrepreneurs in the near future.

Network Advertising

Gone are the days of cold calling and blind elevator pitches. Today’s businesses are taking advantage of the growing power of social networks.  Sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn can help businesses expand their reach and influence.

Cloud Sharing

Sharing documents, reports and other files with coworkers is a cinch when businesses utilize cloud storage. What’s more, one cloud system allows the integration of office, mobile and home storage options, streamlining how data is compiled and shared.

Wireless Printing

Companies like Canon, Lexmark and Hewlett-Packard introduced web-enabled printers that offer businesses the capability to print documents directly from a mobile device or tablet. Rather than having to carry around a ton of printed documents,professionals can now keep their needed documents on their devices and print them when they are needed.

Touch Enabled

Since the introduction of smart phones with touch screens, the technology has constantly expanded. Now computers and printers are touch screen enabled. Also, as the technology grows and spreads, the price of such devices has started to drop. Technology that was once only available to high end customers is now easily accessible for even the smallest startup business.

Zero-Clients

Companies that require many desktop computers but don’t necessarily need the additional operating system are turning to zero-client PCs. They are smaller and more cost-efficient than their larger desktop counterparts. Zero-clients come with a fast onboard processor and speedy boot up times. An added bonus? They can’t get viruses. Because they are simplified computers: they require minimal maintenance and don’t need regular updates like other systems. They are great options for business that want to provide basic computers for multiple employees for a smaller investment.

Voice Control

Voice control has grown leaps and bounds since it was first introduced. Though it won’t completely replace a keyboard, or an actual human, voice control technology is useful for dictating short notes while you are driving or just too busy to write something down. Along the same lines is voice recognition. Software, like Dragon Naturally Speaking, types your spoken word as you speak it. One word of caution on these tools, they aren’t always 100% accurate and do take some getting used to. Take some time to practice with them before completely converting to them for business use. Nevertheless, they are very useful for certain tasks and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Go Old School

Email and social media have changed the way we communicate. To really get someone’s attention, send them a letter. Even better, make it handwritten. Emails tend to get deleted; tweets get buried in a busy social stream. But a mailed letter to someone isn’t as easy to ignore. It’s a forgotten communication method that still packs a big punch.

As technology and marketing strategies evolve, the business world evolves with it. Adopting new tactics as they come about can really help businesses succeed.

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Today’s guest blogger is Mark Kirkpatrick, an experienced writer in mass communication in its relation to business globalization. In addition to writing for 1800-number.com’s blog, he also enjoys covering business finance, technology and online networking.

4 Things You Can Do To Speed-Up Your WordPress Site

This is a guest post by Camille McClane, a motivated freelance writer and online entrepreneur living in Southern California

camileLoad time is somewhat of an issue for a lot of WordPress site admins.

While the platform itself is incredibly powerful and comprehensive in terms of the options afforded to the user, WordPress sites often take too long to load for a variety of reasons. Too many plugins, heavy-duty comment engines and poorly designed themes or templates can all contribute.

While the reasons for those lengthy load times will vary, the result is often the same.

What suffers the most with a slow load time is the user experience. While the difference between three and four seconds might be forgivable, 15 to 20 seconds will mean that a user could ultimately lose interest and patience with your site.

If your site is loading slowly enough, it’s basically timing out in the eyes of those who are trying to use it.

Wordpress1

Those people will bounce (meaning they’ll click out of your site and fail to browse to a second page) and many of them will never come back to your site again, at least not on purpose.

Additionally,Google places ranking penalties on slow loading sites. While those penalties are relatively small and affect only a small percentage of websites, it’s something to keep in mind, as you don’t want to needlessly downgrade your own website.

But how can we improve this? How can we speed up our WordPress site?

There are a few areas where WordPress speed gets hung up, so the best way to keep things running smoothly is to focus on getting those areas right the first time.

1. Use a solid framework

WordPress offers a ton of customization options and plenty of different themes to choose from. That being said, theGenesis Framework is one of the better choices and is specifically designed for speed.

It’ll cost you some money to use, but it’s worth the investment. Usually a solid framework is going to run you between $50 and $80, most of which include updates and upgrades. While there are plenty of free WordPress themes, buying a framework insures that you’ll have optimized and correctly written code, which can increase your page’s speed tremendously on its own.

2. Don’t use too many plugins

Plugins are one of WordPress’ most attractive and unique features, and there are even some that help you in terms of speed, likeW3 Total Cache.

While plugins can be very effective in helping you to manage your site, it can significantly increase the time it takes to load for your visitors. As a designer or admin, a good rule-of-thumb is to keep plugins to 10 or less. Rarely will you actually need any more than that.

3. Good hosting service

Hosting isn’t exactly the fun part of using WordPress, but a self-hosted WordPress site will suffer if you choose a poor hosting service, mainly because you take a hit in terms of speed, storage space and service.

Keep in mind that “self-hosting” means you still have to pay for a hosting service, though you’re the one uploading the files and content, while maintaining the rights to your site.

Look for something with unlimited space and bandwidth at less than $10 a month, which is the typical market value for website hosting. Anything more would be overpaying.TigerTech is a decent option in terms of price, speed and storage space.

4. Caching

It’s a bit technically involved to properly configure caching on your WordPress site, though the plugin I mentioned earlier (W3 Total Cache) is a workable solution. It essentially creates a temporary storage for your web documents (usually HTML and any images), which will reduce bandwidth being used and increase the loading speed of your page.

Your best bet here is to enlist the help of a friend or professional who knows the ins-and-outs of the process.

Testing your Loading Speed

There are a lot of tools online that can test your site’s load time, likePingdom or WebPageTest.org.

Check your speed before and after you implement some of these solutions. If you notice that your site is improving, dig a little deeper into each topic and take further steps to optimize your website.

It’s worth the investment of time if you get on Google’s good side and avoid frustrated viewers.

camile

Today’s guest writer is Camille McClane, a motivated freelance writer and online entrepreneur living in Southern California. As a writer for BlogWranglers, she understands the importance of having an effective WordPress site and how its loading speed can greatly affect user experience. What have you done to speed up your own site? Share your comments below!

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What You Didn’t Do Yesterday Online That Lowered Your Rank [infographic]

A guest post by Tasty Placement

When I first started writing online, I really only thought about my interests and what I wanted to share while hoping that those were the same interests of others. If all went well, someone saw the post, linked it to someone else and a kind of web wildfire would spread throughout the virtual lands. However, it’s a little bit more complicated than that. Those who write for a living online and depend on a high search engine rank are always looking for ways to connect better to their readership while also bringing in tons of new readers. I heard about this new study that looked at the importance of “Testing Social Signals,” which came in a neat little infographic by Tasty Placement. The infographic poses a simple question, “Can social media activity boost organic search ranking?” While that seems certain, there are some factors that actually make this more complicated than most would think.

The infographic details how six websites were created in similarly populated US cities with websites focused on the same niche. The domain name included the city name and a specific home service. Tasty Placement took it a bit further by promoting websites each through different social media like Google+, Twitter and Facebook. While promoting, they did what we do: follow their rankings in search engines with eager anticipation.

For those of you who love Google+, the infographic details how one targeted website generated more than a 100 Google Plus followers and raised considerably upward in its search engine rankings. Another website targeted specifically to Google Plus One yielded a slightly lower rank but overall still much higher the websites targeted to Facebook or Google. Is it any surprise that Google would favor its own social media?

All of the sites yielded some results, except for the one which was left to its own devices and had no social media promotions. While the study proved something that we have come to suspect, it was nice to see which social media connections really improved the ranking. Obviously, websites owners and bloggers are rewarded for using Google’s own system with higher rankings. Still, I was also wondering what would have happened if one website had been connected to all the social media. I can only see that being a rocket of high rankings.

This infographic was designed and developed by TastyPlacement, Inc. Click here to visit their site.

Click on image to see full sized version.

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Moving with the times: marketing strategies and advertising ideas for 2013 – A guest post by Dave of PublishersNetwork.com

a fleeting moment in time

a fleeting moment in time (Photo credit: Brenda Anderson)

No matter what type of business they run, small business owners share a common goal: to bring in new customers and to keep the customers they already have. Having the right online marketing strategy in place is one of the best ways to accomplish both of these goals.

Developing a quality marketing strategy requires doing a bit of research. In order to properly market a product to potential customers, it is necessary to first know some information about those customers. It is then easier to customize the online marketing strategy to satisfy their specific needs. It is also a good idea to check out what competitors are doing and whether their approach is working or not. Being open to new ideas is an important part of keeping a business fresh and successful.

New marketing and advertising strategies for 2013 Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular means of marketing and shows no sign of declining in 2013. A type of revenue-sharing relationship, affiliate marketing is an arrangement between a website owner and an online business owner. The website owner agrees to place advertisements for the small business in order to help it sell products or steer customers toward the business owner’s website. The business owner then agrees to give the website owner a share of the profits. Whether it is pay per click, pay per sale or pay per lead, affiliate marketing is an effective way to market a business through passive advertising. Now, affiliate networks such as Media Whiz affiliate network help to facilitate this marketing arrangement, with Media Whiz bringing together and managing the right business owners with the right websites.

The booming sales of the many eBook compatible devices available on the market today, such as the Kindle, the iPad and smartphones, mean that electronic book sales will only continue to increase in 2013. Businesses would be wise to approach the promotion and sale of eBooks as a huge marketing opportunity for their company. As eBooks are relatively inexpensive, they can be accessed from a variety of platforms, and the ease of being able to download and read them anywhere at any time means that eBooks can also provide generous income to businesses who promote these products well. Creating an eBook that focuses on a certain aspect of the business may take time and effort, but producing such a valuable resource for current and potential customers will make the effort worthwhile in the returns it will bring in.

Blogs, once simply spaces for the creative or documentary meanderings of writers, have now become full-fledged marketing tools for many types of business, and this trend looks to continue in 2013. One of the latest strategies for using blogs to advertise and market small businesses is to create so-called mini blogs that provide customers and potential customers with valuable information, while at the same time providing the writers with a means for earning income. Paying to create a blog is a much more financially sound strategy than paying out large sums to a third party to create a website.

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Keeping in Touch with Customers Over the Holidays – Automating Blog & Social Media Posts

A guest post by Gina Smith

You have big plans to take some time off during the holiday season. One problem – you don’t want to lose the momentum of your blog and Social Media posts you’ve worked so hard throughout the year to build. No worries – you can still wake up Christmas morning without having to worry about posting to your blog or social accounts. Below are some helpful tips to consider:

Automate Blog Posts
First, if you aren’t already doing so, set your blog to replicate across your social networks. Each blog provider is a little different, so consult the help section or ask your webmaster how to integrate with your Social Media sites. While you are looking into this, check the steps of how to automate your blog posts. Most blogs, including WordPress and Blogger, include this capability. Once you integrate and automate, you can set up content to post automatically throughout the holidays.

Establish a Calendar
Pre-plan what and when you want to post. If you will be on vacation, consider posts which are less likely to generate comments you will need to immediately address. Also, perhaps think about including posts which are less “business” related. Do you have a favorite recipe to share? Or, how about a list of last minute gift ideas. And, of course, don’t forget a fun greeting Christmas morning and a Happy New Year at midnight on January 1st.

Become Familiar with Facebook Scheduling
Did you know Facebook offers a scheduling feature right in the application itself? Here’s how to use it. First, write your post and attach any tags, photos, videos, etc. Next, look to lower left corner of your post. You will see a clock symbol. Click this to set the year, month, day and time. You can schedule posts up to 6 months in advance, and even backdate posts in your timeline.

Explore Third-Party Providers
There are a number of third party providers which you can use to automate your Social Media posts. One of the most popular is HootSuite, which is used by a number of larger corporations. There are both free and paid versions. Both allow you to manage and automate posts for a number of Social Media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google+ Pages, and even WordPress, among others. The paid version includes analytics, additional social profiles, and other neat features. Buffer and TweetDeck are also popular third part providers to consider. Always be sure to thoroughly research the options, features, terms and conditions, etc., of any third party provider and choose one which best fits the needs of your business.

So, no need to fret about your blog and Social Media posts over the holidays. With a little pre-planning, you can easily sustain momentum with your customers all the way into the new year!

Gina Smith writes freelance articles for magazines, online outlets and publications on behalf of a number of companies, including Global Response. Smith covers the latest topics in the business, golf, tourism, technology and entertainment industries.

The Five Biggest Techniques for Local SEO

A guest post from Stuart McHenry

Uk-map-edited

Uk-map-edited (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For those that do not have experience in local SEO, it can be a difficult switch from typical optimization techniques, especially for those that are used to non-local search engine optimization. Many local factors are taken into account when ranking a site for city related keywords that are just not present in typical search engine optimization on a national scale. Below are a few techniques that you should employ when preforming local SEO.

Local Citations

Local citations are the foundation of most local optimization efforts. Local citations refer to local business directories and business listings, such as Yellow Pages and other local directories. This is a good indicator that your website is for a legitimate business, and being listed in as many of these directories can have a profound effect on your rankings.

These citations are not only going to help you to achieve higher rankings, but also provide you with multiple avenues in which potential clients can find your business. Local business listings can provide you with a huge surge in traffic after you are able to gain listings. Start by targeting the larger, well known business directories since they are most often crawled by Google and provide the largest benefit.

Reviews

You should attempt to encourage as many of your customers as you can to leave reviews online after doing business with your company, whether positive or negative. Reviews are a sign to Google that you are an actual place of business, and not just a website. Reviews also allow you to give a positive impression to potential customers about your business and the services that you provide. If you provide a solid service, your reviews will be overwhelmingly positive, which not only will help you pre-sell customers, but will also have a positive effect on your local search engine rankings.

Addresses and Phone Numbers

Google also checks to make sure that sites that are ranking well for local terms have addresses and phone number that match the locality in which they are trying to rank for. Google actually takes the address listed on your website, and matches it to the location of the city center in an effort to gauge the locality of your website to the keywords that you rank for. This is to keep non-local websites from ranking for local keywords, which could potentially cheapen the experience of the user who is searching for local businesses. Not having a local mailing address could potentially keep you from ranking for local keywords.

Local Organizations

Another excellent method for local link building is the use of local organizations. Local organizations like your chamber of commerce and other business related organizations can provide a huge benefit in local search engine optimization, and also help you to network with other related businesses in your industry. Many of these organizations will link to the businesses that have maintained membership, which can provide you with a high quality link from an authority in your local community, which is hugely beneficial for optimization.

Network Locally

One aspect of local optimization that many businesses owners overlook is the power of networking. Getting to know other business owners in your locality can help you to build relationships, which can result in links to your website, and help your local rankings. By working with other business owners in your area, and developing relationships with them, it can have lasting positive effects on your search results.

Local search engine optimization can be very different from non-local SEO, but the same basic principles apply. Instead of focusing so much on industry-specific links, the focus is placed on locality and local factors.

Author Bio: Stuart McHenry is the President of McKremie a SEO Irvine company that specializes in search engine optimization.

 

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What Pop Songs Can Teach You about Viral Blog Content

Guest post contributed by Peter Nevis, on behalf of Orange Line SEO.

Music guitar

You may wonder what pop tunes could possibly have in common with blog content. But, if you think about it, because both are creative representations of the emotions and/or ideas of the artist, it’s not really that difficult to see how some of the same basic popularity principles could apply to both.

Here are four characteristics of pop music hits that can help your blog posts go viral:

Hit pop songs are …

Trendy and Current

Pop music is trendy music that reflects the current culture. Rather than being progressive, it speaks to “today” and often puts a modern spin on timeless and lasting themes that help listeners relate to its message. The message isn’t always deep or profound and is, in fact, often pretty light or mundane. But, it does speak to the culture of its day in a language the culture understands, which helps it catch hold of its audience and spread like wildfire.

You, too, can use these elements to encourage the sharing of your blog content. You can be trendy by sharing the latest news and happenings in your field using language your audience understands. You can make your content more immediate by putting a modern spin on an age-old message. Or, you can create a buzz by presenting a tried-and-true topic in a brand new way. By writing on timeless topics–even if they’re dressed in modern garb–you create evergreen content that people can share again and again.

Catchy, Memorable, and Compelling

The pop songs that become most popular have catchy tunes and compelling, easy-to-remember lyrics that people walk around humming or singing as they go about their daily lives. They don’t plan to respond this way; it just happens because the song contains elements that elicit this response. How can people resist buying and listening to music that affects them this way? The answer is, “They can’t.”

To use this concept on your blog, be sure your content is memorable, compelling, and presented in a way that’s easy to grasp, assimilate, and recall. That might involve organizing your ideas, presenting your content in bite-sized but thought-provoking chunks, using subheadings, and expressing your ideas as simply as possible so they don’t strain the reader’s mind. If your points are clear, compelling, and simple, people will share your content.

Emotionally Engaging

Pop tunes that become hits always elicit some kind of emotion in the listener. Whether that emotion is happiness, amusement, or even nostalgia, the emotional content of the lyrics and music carry the listener along on a wave of euphoria, making that critical emotional connection that makes the person want to hear the tune again and again and pass along their fabulous find to all their friends.

In much the same way, emotionally engaging blog content captures your readers’ imaginations and creates feelings of connection that help those readers relate to the content and make them much more likely to share your posts with their networks.

Technologically Driven

Pop music has always placed a strong emphasis on technology, as opposed to musicianship, and on recording, as opposed to live performance. While that emphasis hasn’t necessarily precluded good musicianship, the focus has always been on the technological aspects of the pop song. Basically, pop music is dance music, and much dance music tends to be heavy on the technological gimmicks and gadgetry. Pop music audiences respond well to gimmicks and effects that make the music feel and sound more immediate and more exciting.

How does this apply to your blog? Like pop music, blogging depends totally on technology as its delivery system. And while blogging technology may not equate directly to gadgetry or gimmicks, when bloggers make the most of technology by posting multimedia content and promoting their content via the multitude of available digital channels, they can help that content go viral in much the same way that the most legendary pop artists have used technology to create number-one hit tunes.

Try these four pop-artist tricks when you write your next blog post, and watch your content spread across the Web like an infectious pop tune fills the airwaves!

Author Bio:

Guest post contributed by Peter Nevis, on behalf of Orange Line SEO. Peter contributes to various websites, he’s a marketing expert and enjoys writing articles about SEO & online marketing strategies.

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What Pop Songs Can Teach You about Viral Blog Content

Jennifer Lopez | Pop Music Festival | 23.06.2012

Jennifer Lopez | Pop Music Festival | 23.06.2012 (Photo credit: Ana Kley)

You may wonder what pop tunes could possibly have in common with blog content. But, if you think about it, because both are creative representations of the emotions and/or ideas of the artist, it’s not really that difficult to see how some of the same basic popularity principles could apply to both.

Here are four characteristics of pop music hits that can help your blog posts go viral:

Hit pop songs are …

Trendy and Current

Pop music is trendy music that reflects the current culture. Rather than being progressive, it speaks to “today” and often puts a modern spin on timeless and lasting themes that help listeners relate to its message. The message isn’t always deep or profound and is, in fact, often pretty light or mundane. But, it does speak to the culture of its day in a language the culture understands, which helps it catch hold of its audience and spread like wildfire.

You, too, can use these elements to encourage the sharing of your blog content. You can be trendy by sharing the latest news and happenings in your field using language your audience understands. You can make your content more immediate by putting a modern spin on an age-old message. Or, you can create a buzz by presenting a tried-and-true topic in a brand new way. By writing on timeless topics–even if they’re dressed in modern garb–you create evergreen content that people can share again and again.

Catchy, Memorable, and Compelling

The pop songs that become most popular have catchy tunes and compelling, easy-to-remember lyrics that people walk around humming or singing as they go about their daily lives. They don’t plan to respond this way; it just happens because the song contains elements that elicit this response. How can people resist buying and listening to music that affects them this way? The answer is, “They can’t.”

To use this concept on your blog, be sure your content is memorable, compelling, and presented in a way that’s easy to grasp, assimilate, and recall. That might involve organizing your ideas, presenting your content in bite-sized but thought-provoking chunks, using subheadings, and expressing your ideas as simply as possible so they don’t strain the reader’s mind. If your points are clear, compelling, and simple, people will share your content.

Emotionally Engaging

Pop tunes that become hits always elicit some kind of emotion in the listener. Whether that emotion is happiness, amusement, or even nostalgia, the emotional content of the lyrics and music carry the listener along on a wave of euphoria, making that critical emotional connection that makes the person want to hear the tune again and again and pass along their fabulous find to all their friends.

In much the same way, emotionally engaging blog content captures your readers’ imaginations and creates feelings of connection that help those readers relate to the content and make them much more likely to share your posts with their networks.

Technologically Driven

Pop music has always placed a strong emphasis on technology, as opposed to musicianship, and on recording, as opposed to live performance. While that emphasis hasn’t necessarily precluded good musicianship, the focus has always been on the technological aspects of the pop song. Basically, pop music is dance music, and much dance music tends to be heavy on the technological gimmicks and gadgetry. Pop music audiences respond well to gimmicks and effects that make the music feel and sound more immediate and more exciting.

How does this apply to your blog? Like pop music, blogging depends totally on technology as its delivery system. And while blogging technology may not equate directly to gadgetry or gimmicks, when bloggers make the most of technology by posting multimedia content and promoting their content via the multitude of available digital channels, they can help that content go viral in much the same way that the most legendary pop artists have used technology to create number-one hit tunes.

Try these four pop-artist tricks when you write your next blog post, and watch your content spread across the Web like an infectious pop tune fills the airwaves!

Author Bio:

Guest post contributed by Peter Nevis, on behalf of Orange Line SEO. Peter contributes to various websites, he’s a marketing expert and enjoys writing articles about SEO & online marketing strategies.

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Three social plug-ins to boost your new WordPress site

A guest post from Mike Goodwin

social wordle

social wordle (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Everybody wants to get social with their business nowadays, often without stopping to ask if it’s actually the right thing for them to do. There’s no doubt that in some circumstances, Facebook, Twitter and even Google + can be good for your business – and luckily WordPress is well equipped to help you out if you decide it is right for you.

Now obviously, if you are setting up an online store or web-connected company you’ll want to have been through the basics first. There’s no benefit to having thousands of ‘likes’ and followers if you haven’t taken the time to set up the basics. Sites like MoneySupermarket can offer advice, as well as price comparison on things like business insurance, so could be a great place to start if you need help. However, when you start looking for help on WordPress plugins you could feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of recommendations out there. Here are five WordPress plugins that stand out among the many thousands you’ll no doubt stumble upon (no pun intended) that should be the first you start with.

Facebook Comments by Alex Moss

A simple but effective way for people to offer you their thoughts on your pages while logged in to Facebook, this plug-in is very simple to set-up and could be useful for general feedback that will be seen by others. Of course, having people able to post at will on your page – like all social media channels – comes with a certain amount of risk involved, so make sure you are able to monitor and moderate what is being said.

Twitter Profile Widget by Twitter

It isn’t always easy to keep your site updated with every single thing you are up to, but people will want to know that you are active and communicating within your industry – which is why Twitter can be so great for business. The Twitter Profile Widget allows you to place a small sidebar widget on your site that shows your most recent tweets as they go out. Be careful to share only what you want to, but add this to your site if you want to add an extra bit of regularly updated content to your pages.

Google +1 Button Plugin by AJ Batac

Whether we like it or not, Google+ isn’t going anywhere anytime soon – and as the search engine is pushing its fledgling social network more and more into its results pages it seems that businesses would do well to not ignore it. Once you have a page for your company, you’ll also want to make your web pages sharable to those who visit, luckily there are countless widgets that allow you to add a +1 button to your posts, but this one is simple and effective enough to not take up too much of your time and energy.

Social networks are a minefield for business if you don’t know what you are doing, so it’s worth thinking carefully about whether or not they are right for you. However, if you do want to make your site more accessible to the millions who now log on to their accounts on a daily basis, these three plug-ins are a great place to start.

Mike works as a technology blogger and enjoys sharing the latest tips and tricks for small businesses and startups. He lives in rural Cheshire and is a huge advocate of building self hosted sites with WordPress.

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Rise of Personal Branding = Return of DIY Marketing

A guest post by Sam Peters

English: "Evolve Or DIY"

English: "Evolve Or DIY" (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was a time when DIY marketing sounded a little bit crazy. Entrepreneurs who were going it alone and lighting out for new business shores were expected to hire a marketing team in order to properly brand and position a new product or service. Doing it yourself was tantamount to representing yourself at trial—foolish, arrogant, and even dangerous.

But the landscape has changed in the last couple decades and new tools are at our disposal that make hiring an entire marketing team unnecessary. In fact, solo entrepreneurs are on the rise and more and more of them are finding that new web technologies—specifically, social media, cloud services, and mobile devices—afford them the opportunity to do their own personal branding without the need of a team, fancy hardware, or even a primary office.

Social media=team of one is possible
An aggressive, prolific social media user can accomplish all the goals of a traditional marketing team online by creating dialogues with consumers and forging organic, viral campaigns. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram are just the beginning. Smaller, niche networks will be the wave of the future, allowing a more granular assessment of target demographics.

Cloud services=less hardware needed
Documents and files can be stored online and changes can be made to them that will be synchronized across a shared or private network. Therefore, you can work with clients on massive projects without the need for a preponderance of expensive hardware. This makes your output more efficient, more economical, and more secure.

Mobile devices=stop paying office rent
A DIY marketer can work on the go, facilitating projects and networking with clients with mobile devices. While an office isn’t a bad thing to have, if you’re looking to reduce your costs, working without an office has never been more legitimate. A marketing team no longer needs to be a workforce of dozens occupying an entire office floor.

Not only do these tools make it easier to inexpensively operate a business and market your own products and services, it opens doors for personal branding that previous generations of DIY entrepreneurs missed out on. The one-two punch of social media optimization and SEO makes it possible to leverage a small brand in big ways.

These innovations allow entrepreneurs and DIY marketers to focus on the important part of marketing, which is creating a personalized brand that connects with consumers. Focus your efforts on creating the kinds of relationships with clients, customers, and partners that will last for years.

This is a Guest Post written by Samantha Peters, an avid blogger who enjoys writing about various career and job related topics. Sam manages The Education Update and lives in beautiful San Diego, California.

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