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>Web 2.0 Tools and Web 2.0 Technology

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Web 2.0 Tools and Web 2.0 Technology The internet and web have always been a basis for collaboration between groups of people of any size. As you know this has been on the increase over the years and technology has helped support that. Web 2.0 is about the content and users and their interaction. Web […]

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Web 2.0 Tools and Web 2.0 Technology

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>Our top free Twitter resources (Part 1)

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Twitter in itself can be very overwhelming, and that?€™s without worrying what tools and resources you need to manage your account properly. So we?€™ve done the hard work for you and compiled a list of our favourites.

Twitter for Beginners

We?€™ve divided our list into two parts; this one for fledgling tweeters and one for fully-fledged users (keep an eagle eye out for more advanced tools in Part 2, coming soon), but it?€™s worth checking them both to make sure there?€™s nothing you miss.

1. Twitter?€™s Help Guide
If you?€™re just getting started, Twitter?€™s help guide is a great, if obvious, place to start. It?€™s clearly laid out and organised, so you can find the information you need quickly.

2. Top 10 Twitter Tips for Beginners
PC Mag?€™s succinct Top 10 Twitter Tips for Beginners also provides useful tips including how to shorten your URL , share pictures and tweet from your phone.

3. Twitter Glossary
Once you?€™ve set up your account, sent a few tweets and got some followers, it?€™s worth browsing the Twitter Glossary, or simply bookmarking it for when you come across unfamiliar terms. The Twitter Glossary also contains some interesting links to explain how certain features operate, so even seasoned tweeters can learn something new by going back to basics.

4. Twitter Backgrounds
Personalising your profile generates more interest, so don?€™t stick to the defaults. Google throws up a range of Twitter background websites for you to choose from, but we?€™ve picked out Twitr Backgrounds because there are lots of high-quality, free backgrounds to choose from and it?€™s easy to use. Simply select the background you like and enter your Twitter account details to set it automatically. Or, if you have time, it?€™s easy enough to create your own background and set it in your account.

5. Add Twitter to your website or Facebook account
Just follow the simple instructions here to display your tweets and help your website?€™s visitors find you quickly and easily. A word of warning: don?€™t display your Twitter feed on your website if you might go long periods without tweeting because it doesn?€™t give visitors a good impression.

6. Find your friends
It?€™s more than likely your friends have Twitter accounts. Using Facebook’s Twitter application, you can also find and manage your Facebook friends using Twitter.

7. Find other people to follow
Browse your favourite websites and keep a look out for their Twitter accounts, or have a quick search if you know the company or website name. You can also search for people via the We Follow directory, and add your own account so people can find you.

8. Keep track with Tweetdeck
Once you start to develop your follower base, it?€™s difficult to keep track of what?€™s going on with your Twitter timeline alone. Tweetdeck is a free desktop client with hundreds of of useful features, including support for Twitter lists, scheduled tweets, a spam button and support for Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Google Buzz and Foursquare…to name just a few. But don?€™t worry about getting to grips with it all ?€“ the learning curve is small as Tweetdeck is based around a clear, easy-to-use interface.

What now?

Now you?€™ve got all the basics down, you?€™re probably still asking some questions. How do I get more followers on Twitter? What advanced Twitter tools are available? How can I use Twitter to promote my website? Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts covering all this and more…

Our top free Twitter resources (Part 1)

Fast Money

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>Web hosting resellers: Why domain names are your baked beans

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One of the cornerstones of all the supermarket chain?€™s sales and marketing strategies is to sell key household consumables that consumers buy regularly (and are price sensitive towards) at a loss. The prime example of this are baked beans, sometimes sold as low as 9p per can. Water could not be canned and sold profitably at that price. The strategy is simple; loss leading products are there to entice customers in to the store to then be hit by aggressive cross-selling and up-selling promotional activity which then turns the visit in to a profitable one.

That?€™s kind of interesting but I don?€™t sell baked beans!
If you sell web hosting, domain names are your baked beans. They are that loss leader that can be promoted at an eye catching price to entice people in and then be sold additional higher value domain names e.g. your web hosting, email products and further add-ons such as domain security. Unless your business is purely based around domain names, absorbing the cost of the domain names in to your web hosting is a tactic that could help increase conversions and your Average Revenue Per User (ARPU).

This isn?€™t a promotional tactic; it?€™s a way of life

If you choose to sell your domain names using Every Day Low Price (EDLP), the danger of applying this as a short term tactical decision is that you will attract a stampede of bargain hunters looking for a cheap domain name and nothing else. You could attempt to increase the base ARPU through Emails to your new customers but it?€™s far less risky if they are profitable from day one. Your best bet could actually be giving the domain away free as part of the web hosting package. This will ensure each sale will be profitable without relying on people buying more to do so. The supermarkets have been using loss leaders for decades and are incredibly sophisticated at maximising the value of every basket, and there is no reason why you can?€™t do it either.

How to get people to buy more on their first visit?
Here are some quick tips to get you started and links to read more…

?€?    Use the old ?€?related items?€™ method with cheaper products linking to more expensive ones plus the added benefits of upgrading clearly listed

?€?    Use a basket people can add to as they shop around your site rather than taking them straight to the check out

?€?    Also use an editable basket once they commit to the order process so they can add more at the last second

?€?    Run a price promotion if they bundle certain products

Further reading:
?€?    http://www.conversion-rate-experts.com/articles/
?€?    http://www.seobook.com/website-checklist-closing-deal
?€?    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/17-new-rules-for-successful-ecommerce-websites
?€?    http://www.addedbytes.com/online-marketing/ten-ways-to-improve-your-website-conversion-rate/

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stone-soup/3849277255/

Web hosting resellers: Why domain names are your baked beans

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>12 Ways You’re Scaring Away Your Readership

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There is a bunch of reasons why you are losing your readers. So, I?€™ll say up front that this articles is entirely based on my own experiences and what I’ve learned so far from blogging for almost a year. This is a list of some reasons why your readers never come back.

1 – Too Many Displaced Advertisements

This is the first thing strongly make your readers dislike your blog or website. Your content is what drives users to your site, and what differentiates your site from the next guy. If you didn’t have content, you wouldn’t make money off of ads. Focus on your content first to build a great subscriber-ship, then think about how to make money from your content. After 6 months of using Google Adsense to make some tiny money from my blog, I decided to remove all the ugly banners of Google Adsense to refresh the air(I will place them again, but in the future). The rule is don’t just place your ads anywhere, make them look like content.

Nice read:When Should You Put Ads On Your Blog? – This is how $40,000/month blogger makes money from his blog.

2 – Slow website

This happened to me before I move to another hosting provider. I used a very cheap hosting which I paid a year just compared to this one of 3 months. Remember, your readers don’t like 1 minutes loading to read just a quicktip post. Make sure you stay away from super-cheap hosting and optimize your website’s speed.

Here is some good tips:WordPress Optimization: How I Reduced Page Load Time by 75%.

3 – Posting duplicate content

Another good way to ruin your blog is publishing posts which already published before or elsewhere. Google and other search engines definitely also get involved when your content found is largely the same as some content in your blogs or other websites. If you want to gain traffic and readership, try to be unique. In case you don?€™t have the resources to write and publish on your own blog, or your budget isn’t allow you to hire someone to write, the easiest way is → Stop Launching Blogs, Start Contributing. It would be great if you can write quality content day-to-day, otherwise great quality articles sometime are better than having a lot of filler articles.

Read this before start blogging: Four Common Steps Every New Blogger Would Face When Starting A Blog.
Tips to be unique:7 Tips for Creating Unique Content That Doesn?€™t Suck.
Helpful article for blog content development:10 Ways To Find Inspiration To Develop Content For Your Blog.

4 – Not giving proper credit or high-jacking articles

Beware of content submitted from contributors when your blog has multi-authors. You should make sure to edit all the posts submitted carefully. I personally made a same mistake twice by publishing contributed posts without reviewing it carefully and I got warning from the original author immediately. If you are the only one who maintains your blog, don’t ever think about copying the whole content from other blogs. However, it doesn’t mean you cannot do ethically stealing. The rule is never copy and paste entire paragraphs from original article because it?€™s rude and wrong. I cannot find or don’t know if there is any penalty for content infringement; Thus, it is free when it’s on the Internet??? If you have any idea about this, the comment section is open for discussion.

Worth reading:How To Steal Blog Content: Ethically.

5 – Accepting every giveaway sponsorship that comes your way

Giveaways is one of the most effective ways to gain more traffic and readers. It hooks visitors so that they return to your blog again and again. However, the giveaways makes your blog attractive only and only if those giveaways are from popular companies who offer good products or services. Don’t accept or just simply deny some of them which are not good great for your audiences. Don’t publish giveaways too frequently because you run blog to share your knowledge, not team up with some companies to give away things. Thus, people comes to your blog because they want to learn new things.

You should do give aways things because:Hosting a Giveaway As a Blog Marketing Tool.
You should know:How to Host Effective Blog Giveaways.

6 – Annoying other bloggers

This is how you ruin your relationship with other bloggers. Marketing a blog takes time and patience. If they like what you are doing, they will promote you without your demand. Asking for favors all the time doesn’t harm anyone, but it’s a bothersome type of communication which people do hate.

Off-topic link but useful:Building Relationships: 11 Rules for Self-Promotion.

7 – Writing or marketing off-niche

You call yourself web design blogger, so that means you are talking about design stuff, and pretty much only design stuff… Don’t try to do something “new” by going off your niche into other things like proxy software, or other stuff. Most people in a niche market have a loyal following, because there aren’t often many other people covering that sort of stuff. (It happened to Woorkup recently. He went off with a lot of articles, news about some phone companies. Hope he will have more success with new Woorkup).

8 – Not engaging in the community you’re building (ex: comments, Twitter, Facebook, GBuzz, etc.)

You cannot just write and publish. Beside the time you do blogging, spend some time to be active in community and social networks. Keeping trying to stay in touched with everyone to catch what people are talking about and join their conversations.

You should read:How To: Be Active On Twitter Without Getting Burned Out!.

9 – Providing no way to directly contact you.

You blog/website needs at least a contact page for people to reach you. You can put your social ids over sidebar, footer, but don’t forget to implement one page for a contact form. This is typically the gateway to allow people to submit their questions, even suggestions to you. You need to keep your contact form really simple as you can, because they will close the page right after seeing a lot of required field. You better put your email beside the form in case one day, the form is broken. (Don’t write in email format, just like this: “magazine at aext dot net” – to avoid spam bots catching your email address.)

For a proper contact form: → <a href="http://www.smarte-commerce.com/5-important-steps-to-design-a-p
roper-contact-form/”>5 Important Steps to Design a Proper Contact Form
Contact form tips:10 Useful Tips for a Captivating Contact Form

10 – Offering limited or no subscription methods

Sometime, I don’t want to subscribe to a feed of a blog, but I really love to follow that blog in Twitter(or just be a fan on Facebook). However, where the hell is the Twitter link to its Twitter profile? I’m an Facebook addicted but I cannot find the fan page of this blog. That’s fine, I will subscribe to the feed and receive its updates via email, but … where can I put my email? (It happened to Smashing Magazine before they redesigned)

11 – Non-working JavaScript overlays

Make sure all of your Javascript is working properly because JS is so annoying to the readers when it doesn’t work properly. Slow loading, web browsers get crashed… are typically caused by javascript. I once went mad when I couldn’t click on the tabs list then my mouse got broken. Oh, that’s my own blog!

Links for Javascript developers:List of Really Useful Free Tools For JavaScript Developers.
Good link:Good Ways to Implement Javascript on your site.

12 – Improper terminology for your demographic and/or field

If you speak in design terms to a non-designer, they will think you?€™re mad. Then, if you write about design stuff in “doctor” language, they’ll definitely think you are crazy. I’m not a writing expert, but my advice is you will need to have a good understanding of standard terminology in design. Let’s write easy to understand instead of making the readers get confused.

Check it out:Art and Design Terminology.

I’ve learned a lot of things

These are how I’ve done blogging for almost a year. There’s a bunch of tricks and tips for a better blog I have learned, but these above are the most important things I would like to share. If you have any suggestions, please let us know in the comment section.

Related posts:

  1. Contact form for Blogger users by Formspring
  2. Four Common Steps Every New Blogger Would Face When Starting A Blog

12 Ways You’re Scaring Away Your Readership

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>Let’s see what you’ve got!

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The main reason I found for creating this blog was to show people out there that you can use blogger to achieve almost everything. I mean, You can use Blogger to create ANY type of website, and show any type of content, If you know how to tweak it and admin your content of course. With this idead in my mind I have decided to create “out of the box” types of templates and help users using it, so they can see on their on eyes what I am talking about…

So since my users have got the idea of my templates they started commenting here like crazy, asking questions, congratulating me, etc. Due to that great feedback, I decided to answer (almost) all the comments, give my best to help people and answer all the questions they have, no matter how simple they were for me.


A couple of days ago I tried to search google for people using my templates, I got around 3000 results, then I checked some of them, and for my surprisingly happiness, I found some many GREAT blogs that have modified my templates in such a beatiful way that I could never imagine. Some of them have even won awards!

So I was here just surfing the net around as I do everyday looking for inspiration and came up with this idea: As I can not find all the great people using my templates by myself, I will create a post here and ask people to submit their blogs, only they ones that they think that have a great design, and are using a template of mine of course. It’s up now!

After taking a look on what you guys have submitted, I will create a section on this blog with the top blog designs using my templates, with a text link to your site, and maybe a short description. The more people that submit content, the more the post will be productive, so please spread this post around using the many social netwoerking features here, including the “Retweet” button.

Submit your blogs!

Here’s what I want:

  • Name: Your website’s name.
  • Link: A URL to your website.
  • Description: Write a short description of your blog, what is it about?
  • Template: What template are you using? What did you change from the original?
  • Testimonial (Optional): If you want, Please write something about me, or my blog, like how I have helped you, or why would you recommend me, my blog or my templates to people out there.

Note: Please only submit blogs that have customized any template of mine in a good way, I mean if you have made it unique and have a very good taste, check this example for better understanding. The submission does not aply for those that are using the original version of any template of have a “incomplete” look of it.

Let’s see what you’ve got!

Let’s see what you’ve got!

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>BloggerTube – The first Blogger video template!

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Since from the very beginning of this blog, I had in mind that most of people do not use Blogger just because of its “limitations”, or whatever they think blogger has, so I have decided to creat unique templates that would blow people’s minds not only because of their designs, but also for its many unique and out-of-the-box features.

Now I bring you a template that no one has never made for Blogger: a video template. Yes, now you guys can showcase your videos using blogger! ins’t that awesome?

The fact is that I am very excited about this template, because this one may turn out in a revolution on Blogger templates, People will now see that Blogger is not as limited as they thought it was, believe me: I didn’t even start describing its features yet.

I have been working on this template for the past weeks, finding a way to improve it each time I put my hands on it. The best thing was the help I have got from my gift-minded friends Abu Farhan and Aneesh (from Bloggerplugins.org). They are (seriously) the best and fastest Blogger developers that I have ever known, I am very lucky to get to work with this guys.

Now let me present you BloggerTube: A video template that creates a perfect link between Blogger (The best blogging tool in my opinion) and Youtube (The biggest and most used online video service on the internet).

There are many reasons for my excitement, but I can summarize them in two simple ones:
?#1 – This template is totally automatic, anyone can use it, and even the most newbie guys will be able to post videos on it.
#2 – It is the first of its kind, So this will motivate me to release new version and implement new features each version.

Check out the live demo and you’ll what I am talking about!

BloggerTube Instructions:

Note: A really nice user from our community (Thanks Mesothelioma) has just made this great collection of video tutorials for Bloggertuts, Please check it out, specially beginners. Make sure you watch them before asking for help!

How to post a new video on BloggerTuts

1 – You’ll only need 2 things: A post sample (Please download it here and save it as post sample under your Blogger settings) and a video URL from youtube.

2 – Go to Youtube.com and grab a video URL:

?

3 – Now head to your Blogger dashboard and create a new post, It will open up the posting page with your previously saved post sample:

4 – Note that you have 2 important elements:

– “endofvid” – Will be used to tell the template that your video URL has finished, you should paste your URL right before it, with no spaces!

– [starttext] and [endtext] Those are your post content wrapper, so if you need to write anything, post any picture on your post, please do it inside these two lines. This is an important step, if you write anything out of these two lines, it will not be shown on your post.

5 – Here’s how the your post should looks like:

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I have highlighted the important elements just for your reference, but you should not do that on your posts.

How to install the “Recent Videos” widget”

Just go to your Page Elements section, click to edit the HTML/Javascript Widget called “Recent Videos” and paste the following code inside:

var numposts = 5;
var showpostthumbnails = true;
var displaymore = true;
var displayseparator = true;
var showcommentnum = true;
var showpostdate = true;
var showpostsummary = true;
var numchars = 50;

Automatic features on BloggerTube:

Once you have made your post, BloggerTube has taken care of it, let’s check it out the awesome automatic features on this neat template:

Automatic video thumbnails on home page:

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BloggerTube will automatically create a thumbnail out of your video, and show it only on your home page, in a nice and organized gallery style.

Automatic embedded video on post page:

?You’ll get your video automatically embedded on your post page, together with your description/post below it.

Automatic slider for the last featured videos

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This one may be the most cool feature of this template, it is completely mind blowing, and you doesn’t even to touch the code to get it, It’s already installed and running for you!

BloggerTube Highlights

Custom star ratings from js-kit.com :

Recent videos widget from Bloggerplugins.org (adapted specially for this template):

Exclusive scripts from Abu-farhan.com created specially for this Blogger video template that makes it totally awesome an
d intelligent.

Note: if you are experiencing any problems with the page navigations, go to your Edit HTML pade, check Expand Widget models, and replace the following url:

for this one:

Final Words

I hope everyone enjoy this template, I have put so much effort to show people that blogger can really be awesome and to break all the limitation walls that some people create for this great blogging platform.
Feel free to subscribe to my RSS feed, and Follow me on twitter.

BloggerTube FAQ’s

1. Can I show videos from another websites other than youtube? Maybe FlashGames? Or even Pictures?
No, This template only supports youtube videos, because that’s what it was made for, so changing it to support any other kind of media, would be as hard as developing a whole new template again.

2. Why did you support only youtube on this one?
Because it is the most used video service on the internet, as simple as that.

3. Why don’t you make another template supporting another kinds of videos?
I never told you guys that I was never going to release new templates anymore, please be calm and let things happen, I have many plans on new templates, but due to lack of time for doing it, I didn’t had the chance yet.

4. Why you answered that for question #3 ?
Because I am not a full time blogger/webdesigner like other template developers, I study Engineering and also work on other projects, so please understand my point.

BloggerTube – The first Blogger video template!

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>5 Tips for Job Seekers on Corporate Social Networks

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Business Network Puzzle

Anne Berkowitch is co-founder and CEO of SelectMinds, the leading provider of networking and referral technologies and of the recently launched TalentVine referral recruiting solution. You can follow SelectMinds on Twitter at @SelectMinds.

There?€™s a lot of talk these days about using social networks as job search tools as well as sources for recruiters and HR executives to scout talent. Many organizations opt to build secure, private networks for their current and former employees that provide a place for people to connect and refer opportunities, contacts and information to one another. Here are some tips to get the most out of these increasingly common company networks.


1. Remember Your Resources


While it may be natural to dive into the wider web in your job search, you might be better served to take advantage of resources and people you are already connected to. Many businesses of all sizes offer networks to connect current and former employees. Check in with HR heads of former employers and find out what networking tools they offer. In the battle for great talent, it?€™s in their interest to keep up with you and where your career is headed.


2. Present Your Best Self


When building your identity and reputation on a company network, it?€™s important to remember that these networks are professional environments that are rarely anonymous. While you may have shared some drinks at the holiday party in 2007, you still want to engage with current and former colleagues on a strictly professional basis. Remember to update your information (title, company, leadership experience, etc.) regularly, perhaps every quarter, and point it out to relevant people as appropriate.

Also note that while you’re maintaining a professional presence on internal company networks, your public social profiles on Facebook, Twitter and other sites will often be checked by recruiters before they make contact with you. We?€™ve all heard the horror stories — for example, applicants updating their status or tweeting before and after an interview with disparaging or confidential remarks about the company. We?€™ve heard about recent college grads who have thousands of photos on Facebook, many of which are not work appropriate. These are lessons applicants need only learn once. Showing some personality is important, but it?€™s a fine line.


3. Reconnect


Business Team Image

People are used to getting ?€?Friended,?€? ?€?Followed,?€? ?€?Connected With?€? and more on a regular basis, so reaching out to past colleagues with whom you’ve worked should be well received. It?€™s a great way to share opportunities, personal and professional news, and stay up to date on happenings at your company. When you join a company network, spend some time identifying colleagues and friends within the organizations and acknowledge them on the network.

The foundation of many workplace relationships is gained in the first few days working together. A vendor my company works with recently had an influx of new hires due to business growth. The new team they assembled is full of characters and they promote camaraderie as an essential piece of their corporate culture. These employees are not just all Facebook friends but they?€™re neighbors, they Follow each other on Twitter, retweet each other, etc. They are connected personally and online in a way we know will continue even if one of them should make a career move.


4. Show Your Self-Motivation


As everyone knows, finding a job is work in itself. If you want to get advice from a former colleague or talk about business connections or job opportunities, you have to reach out. (Re)connect online and then consider setting up a get-together with former colleagues. Being outgoing and organized is a quick way to get recognized — a factor that’s sure to pay off in the future.

In-person meetings always go farther than a phone call ever could. For HR managers who work at large, global businesses, it?€™s nearly impossible to meet candidates face to face. But if you?€™re an executive and someone local is asking to meet up, it?€™s a great activity to make time for. I recently heard about a young job seeker who wanted to relocate and found out the local director at her dream firm had gone to a competing high school. That connection alone (pointed out in an e-mail she sent him when she happened to be in town) got her in the door and ultimately, the job itself.


5. It Can?€™t Hurt to Ask


Given the professional nature of company networks, it?€™s more common and expected for the topic of job openings and hiring to come up. Don?€™t be afraid to ask your connections how they got their newest job, why they left a company, or if they would be willing to make an introduction for you. Understand that these networks create mutual relationships, so be sure to offer connections, guidance and thoughts to others — engendering good will when it comes to a professional network goes a long way.

A woman my company works with has had previous high profile jobs in her field. As a result, many people know her and ask her for favors. The one she tells us she always obliges is giving honest answers to people who are considering going to work for her previous companies. Often these connections come through people she may need a favor from someday too, so it?€™s a valuable practice to help past companies find great talent, even though she’s already left.


More Business Resources from Mashable:


How Job Seekers Are Using Social Media for Real Resu
lts

6 Tips for Effective Recruiting on Social Media Sites
5 Rules for Professional Social Networking Success
HOW TO: Organize Your Contacts for Networking Success
13 Essential Tips for Landing a Job on LinkedIn

Images courtesy of studiovision, iStockphoto, Andresr


Reviews: Facebook, Twitter, iStockphoto

More About: business, job search, jobs, List, Lists, networking, small busines, social media, social networking, social networks, tips

For more Business coverage:

5 Tips for Job Seekers on Corporate Social Networks

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>How I Make Money Blogging: Income Split for June 2010

>

It’s that time of month again where I talk a little about the split of my own income streams in the previous month. We’re looking at June here and I’m excited to share this month’s charts because it illustrates something that I’ve been saying for the last couple of months really well – things DO vary from month to month.

In April and May we’ve seen the charts look much the same from month to month with AdSense being the #1 earner, followed by Affiliate earnings, eBook sales and Continuity programs. This month we’ve seen AdSense toppled as the #1 earner.

blogging-income-june-2010.png

eBook sales dwarfed all other income streams in June – mainly because I released a Travel Photography eBook. I should note that the figures I used to calculate this graph are not total income from eBooks but just my share of them (I do a revenue share with the author of this eBook).

Continuity programs also earned just a few dollars more than AdSense this month so it was pushed down into #3 position.

Interestingly the earnings in all areas except eBook sales, continuity programs and the Job board were down on May figures. I do tend to find this happens most years in the middle of the year – probably due to a bit of a downswing in the number of people in the northern hemisphere who are getting out and enjoying good weather in comparison to the number of people inside during winter months in that part of the world.

I thought it might also be interesting to share the different income streams over the last 3 months so you can see how they each do go up and down a little from month to month.

blogging-income-quarter.png

Last month a couple of readers pointed out that the charts are a little meaningless without actual dollar figures and people were confused about whether we were talking about the different areas being in the tens, hundreds, thousands or more. I’m not going to get into specifics on this except to say that June was comfortably in the six figure zone for a month after expenses.

July will probably return to a more ‘normal’ looking month – although I do hope to launch another small eBook here on ProBlogger in the coming weeks which could lead to that segment being a little higher than in April/May (although I doubt as high as June).

Post from: Blog Tips at ProBlogger.

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How I Make Money Blogging: Income Split for June 2010

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How I Make Money Blogging: Income Split for June 2010

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>The Unmissable Secret of Long Term Blogging Success.

>

In The Myth Of Great Content Marketing Itself, Darren said that:

The reality is that many blogs produce quality content that doesn?€™t get read. The reason isn?€™t that the blog?€™s not worth reading ?€“ but in many cases it?€™s because nobody knows to go read it.

Later, he said:

Letting your content market itself DOES work IF you already have an audience to help with that process by spreading word of it through word of mouth. YOU need to be the one who starts the process.

It?€™s time to hustle and get word out about your content.

I agree. Most of the apparent success you see on a blog is based on what happens outside of content creation. The main secret to kicking arse online is knowing the right people.

Yes, I?€™m talking about the networking.

How Networking Leads To Blog Success

You're it! - TaggedImage by Sudhamshu

Do you ever see posts with high profile commenters and tonnes of retweets that seems to echo around the blogosphere? All that happened off the blog. The connections were made months before a favour was asked. The person had provided enough value for the person to not even considering saying no to a request for help.

I recently wrote a post taking readers step by step through my networking methods. This guest post will take you through specific observations that helped me garner the attention of the big guns ?€“ and keep it.

Be A Filter. Be Seen.

I owe the discovery of this concept to Dave Navarro at The Launch Coach

?€?the busier and more successful someone is, the more they rely on people they trust to filter decisions for them.  They don?€™t have the time to take in an process all the pros and cons of some new unknown quantity, so they simply look to their ?€?influencers?€? – the people who already have established trust with them ?€“ for recommendations. ?€?

Positioning yourself as a filter is a great way to get on the radars of awesome people.

I became a filter by accident and it?€™s a role that I?€™ve embraced. I?€™m known as the person that hooks people up. I did one consulting call and was interviewed for two paid programs in the past week. In all three cases, I asked the person is there was anyone I could connect them too.

This doesn?€™t have to be a bad thing. In many cases, it means getting them featured on a certain blog. They get publicity. The blogger gets quality content. I get the happiness from making awesomeness happen.

The key to being a indispensible filter is being so darn useful that the A-listers clamor to get to know you. However, before you can get to know them they have to know who you are.

So ?€“ how do you get to know them?

Meet them on their turf and go where they are most comfortable. This is where they will me most receptive to your attempts at connection.

For many people, this is Twitter. For others, it may be a uStream or an interview. Be where they are, and without being spammy show how intelligent and helpful you are. In some cases, they?€™ll get to know you and ask to take the conversation elsewhere.

Taking the conversation off that platform

On the platform, readingImage by Moriza

Take the conversation to phone

It?€™s weird, but hearing someone?€™s voice encourages them to be more emotionally involved. They are more likely to remember you and be willing to help you out down the track.

I know this because I?€™ve Skyped a lot of my blogging friends. It?€™s hard, especially when you are introverted. It has lots of awesome networking opportunities. You can pick up little pieces of information to leverage later, such as birthdays and children. You can also bond over accents or similar work.

For most people, this means talking to them on Skype. You can also talk to them via conference call products or by a regular phone.

Take it to email

I try and funnel most conversations to email. This makes it a lot easier to form a connection and figure out how you can help each other. I have one email for most people and a separate email for those I have a preexisting relationship with. This means that I can give a priority to those I am willing to help out.

This may not be practical for some of the bigger names. They generally get so many emails that yours will get lost. In these cases, it?€™s worth getting to know the person that filters their email if you definitely need their attention.

Meeting in real life

In most cases, this is unlikely to happen. That?€™s just the way the internet works. There is often too much hassle involved in meeting up unless you live physically close to them. I have three main ways I meet people:

  • If a social media friend will be in the same city as you, casually offer to meetup. I got to meet Yaro Starak and Melinda Brennan this way.
  • I also to conferences that my friends will be attending. This means we get to hang out during the sessions and can make additional connections with some of their friends.
  • My other method is tweetups. I limit the ones I attend because they can be tiring but they are an awesome place to develop new friendship circles.

How to be incredibly useful.

Strawberry Frozen YogurtImage by thebittenword.com

Know what they need before they know they need it

Imagine. You are craving an ice cream. You don?€™t have the time to go and buy the ice cream but then someone offers one because they instinctively know that it could help you right then. Now, imagine that you could help people find solutions that could save or earn them thousands of dollars. They?€™d be pretty darn grateful, right?

That?€™s what I do and it?€™s how you can get a lot of the big guns to view you as a peer in a short period of time.

To succeed at this you have to be good at reading between the lines. You have to:

  • Be able to see when they are hinting towards needing help such as them tweeting about feeling sick.
  • Know what type of person/product they like being referred to.
  • Know about the various solutions that they haven?€™t heard of. This can require a lot of research.

It?€™s hard work but you eventually develop processes so it requires very little time. One you reach a tipping point most of the people come to you on a referral basis.

Connect them to people that profoundly change things for them

I know I changed Dave Navarro?€™s career when I reviewed How To Launch The **** Out Of Your Ebook on this blog. That connection has led to so many opportunities and experiences for me.

When you do something amazing, the person will be grateful for a long, long time. People still thank me for mentioning the in the 30 Bloggers To Watch post. And, when I recently needed help, they all rallied around to support me because I?€™d done so much for them previously.

You don?€™t have to help in a huge way. Sometimes, it can be a small favour that spurs a person on. Ideas include:

  • Get a review copy of an information product on their behalf
  • Review their product on a popular blog
  • Highlight them in front of an influencer
  • Connect them with people with complementary skills

Givers get. Simple.

I help you build your influence at jadecraven.com. If you want to know whats hot in the blogosphere before it goes mainstream, check out my How to Network Fast Course. People come to me whenever they want their stuff to be shared and I only share the best with my readers.

Post from: Blog Tips at ProBlogger.

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>5 Ways I’m Using Facebook to Drive Traffic, Build Brand and Increase Reader Engagement

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I was always a doubter when it came to using Facebook to promote a blog. I’m not sure why – but despite my best efforts I couldn’t seem to get Facebook to ‘work’ as well as I could with Twitter when it came to engaging readers, driving traffic and building community.

However in the last few months things have changed – Facebook has become HOT for me, at on my photography blog.

I’m pretty sure it’s more about how I’m using Facebook than any particular change at Facebook but I’ve started to see it become a lot more useful in a few ways including driving traffic (see chart below), increasing reader engagement and building brand. Here’s the traffic from facebook over the last 13 months (click to enlarge):

facebook-traffic-dps.png

There were always a few days of spiked traffic (usually when we did a post that went a little viral) but the last 6 or so weeks we’ve seen a nice up swing in traffic).

All the action happens on the Digital Photography School Facebook page where the bulk of what happens is simply us pulling in new posts from the blog as status updates using the ‘Networked Blogs’ application – however in the last few months we’ve also started to try a little more reader engagement. Here’s what’s worked:

1. We Ask Questions

The best thing that we do (and I have my forum administrator help with dPS facebook page so it literally is a ‘we’) is simply asking questions of those who ‘like’ us on Facebook. Every day or two we pose a simple question that asks readers either for

  • their opinion on some aspect of photography
  • to share an experience that they’ve had
  • to tell us something about the photography gear that they use
  • to do something fun

These simple questions go crazy. Some examples include:

Interestingly when we ask the same questions on Twitter (where we have 1000 more followers than we have ‘likes’ on Facebook) we only get 10 or so answers to our questions where on Facebook we get hundreds (we’ve had as many as 700). The fact that Facebook allows our followers to see each others responses and that it’s less fleeting than Twitter is an advantage for this type of thing.

2. Promoted ‘Hot Facebook Status Updates”

When we have one of these question status updates/discussion going on Facebook we try to get more traffic to it from other sources. This largely happens in two ways:

  • Weekly Newsletter – in our weekly email newsletter we’ve been linking to one facebook discussion a week as a ‘hot on facebook’ link.
  • Twitter – because the ‘conversational aspect of facebook’ is so great I’ve started to tweet when there’s a good discussion going. It might seem odd to promote one social media account on another but it’s led to significant increases in interaction.

The benefit of highlighting what’s going on on our Facebook page has been two fold – firstly it boosts the numbers of responses to the questions we ask significantly.

Secondly it’s led to a big increase in the number of people who ‘like’ our pages. We’ve gone from several thousand connections on our facebook page to over 27,000 in a couple of months.

3. Reader Involvement in Shaping the Site

Every Friday morning as I’m scheduling posts on the blog for the weekend I ask the same question on Facebook. The question asks readers to suggest a theme for our weekend photography challenge (something we run each week on the blog where we name a theme and everyone goes away and takes a picture to come back and share relating to the theme).

We get a lot of great suggestions in this weekly thread of conversation and the added bonus is that it builds a little anticipation for the challenge itself.

Another thing I did last week was create a survey for our facebook friends that asked them some questions about the content that they’d like to see on dPS. Over 600 people took the survey from facebook giving us some amazing insights into topics for future posts.

4. Promotions

We recently launched a Travel Photography eBook on dPS and saw some really positive response from our promotional efforts on Facebook. I’ve never seen much success with ’selling’ on Facebook before but this time around we built some pre-launch buzz on the facebook page and released it to our facebook community before anyone else.

Our best conversions did come from email promotion but Facebook was probably our 2nd most effective place of promotion this time around. We did some status updates about it but also sent direct messages to all of those who have ‘liked’ our page.

5. Landing Page

This is very new – but I’ve recently added a ‘welcome’ landing tab for those arriving on our page who have not been there before and ‘liked’ it (I’ve also added it to the ProBlogger Facebook Page).

Screen shot 2010-06-30 at 12.15.39 PM.png

The idea here is to create a tab (using the FBML application) which is a customized greeting page for new people to your page. The page directs people to the ‘like’ button and sells benefits of making the connection. Next time they arrive on the page they are taken to the ‘wall’ tab and don’t see the welcome (Facebook allow you to set this up in the ‘page’ settings.

It’s too soon to tell what impact it is having but in talking to a few other web publishers this has seen significant increases in connections.

I’ve also seen others add other things in such a page including welcome videos, email newsletter subscription forms and other things that help them achieve some kind of ‘conversion’. The FBML application lets you add pretty much any html to the tab. I’ve so far just used an image file but hope to convert it to live html with links in it in the coming weeks.

Update: due to many people asking for more information on how I created my landing pages – I’ve just written an update of this post looking at how to create a facebook landing page for your blog.

What are You Doing that is Working on Facebook?

I feel like I’m still finding my way with the use of Facebook and am still experimenting with different aspects of it. We have a ‘tab’ for our eBooks which I’m not sure is overly effective, I want to find a way to get our readers sharing photos better and I’m sure I could be promoting our newsletter better – but it’s one of those things where I find experimenting with one thing at a time is best.

What are you doing with facebook that is working (or that isn’t)?

PS: I’m pretty sure that facebook is not a site that will work for every topic. For example on the ProBlogger facebook page we’ve not seen the same sorts of results – for ProBlogger Twitter seems better. I’ve heard from a few other bloggers mixed results including some amazing stories of increases in traffic.

Also worth noting is that earlier this year I made a significant change in the way that I used Facebook when I defriended around 4800 friends and made my personal facebook profile purely for personal friends and family and concentrated all of my facebook efforts on creating ‘fan pages’/’pages’ for each of my blogs. This was the best thing I’ve done on facebook and released me to develop the pages and use my personal account to build friendships and connections with real life friends.

Update: I’ve just written an update of this post looking at how to create a facebook landing page for your blog.

Post from: Blog Tips at ProBlogger.

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5 Ways I’m Using Facebook to Drive Traffic, Build Brand and Increase Reader Engagement

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5 Ways I’m Using Facebook to Drive Traffic, Build Brand and Increase Reader Engagement

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