Displaying articles for: 09-12-2010 - 09-18-2010
I have set up a blog but I’m not getting many visitors. How do I increase the traffic to my site?
Let’s start by assuming you are writing something on your blog that your ideal readers would find interesting, if only they knew about it, and that you are updating the site regularly. So, how do you promote your blog? First, you need to make sure it is visible to search engines. Register it with search engines such as Bing, Google, dmoz and Yahoo! and – the process is free but takes a bit of time. Second, submit the site and good posts to social bookmarking sites. For example, StumbleUpon, Digg, reddit, Delicious and so on. These sites help people find and share great content. Third, and most important, research a list of blogs that your ideal readers might already like. Read these blogs every day, submit comments, offer to write guest posts and generally join in the broader conversation about your particular specialist topic. Each time you do this, you create a link back to your site for other readers and blog owners. Over time, this will increase traffic to your site and, more importantly, you’ll get the readers you value. Don’t expect a big bang or a magic solution – blog marketing takes time and effort but a few minutes every day adds up very quickly. Check out our articles on Web 2.0 for business.
This is a guest post from our friends at Intel IT Galaxy.
You've got your personal and professional social media profiles separates and clearly defined? Check
Facebook page for your company or projects? Check
Twitter feed? Check
Flickr account? Check
LinkedIn profile? Check
Perhaps you've gone one stage further and connected these accounts. Perhaps you are using services like Plancast to organise and broadcast your plans, or Dopplr to highlight your foreign work trips.
There's little doubt that social media is a great tool in your professional armoury. But how well are you using these tools to promote yourself, to get promoted or to find new work?
When was the last time you updated your professional social network profile? Or used some of the more advanced features?
Last century job hunting was a mixture of “what you know” and “who you know” but the social networking revolution has extended that to “what you know” as well as “who do the people who know people who know people… etc know?”
The birth of six degrees of separation in the digital age means we can leverage the connections between us because professional social networks, such as Viadeo and LinkedIn, expose the relationships we didn't know we have.
PSNs are a high-profile shop window for people who want to advertise their skills and knowledge. With more than 150 million professional members on LinkedIn and Viadeo every possible sector is represented - from archeology to zoology.
And the evidence is that these services are used increasingly by head hunters and recruitment firms because they can use the built in tools to hone in on the right fit for a particular role.
The key thing to remember is that these services are not an online CV database – they are a place to share knowledge and exchange ideas. And it is that commitment to sharing expertise and making your skills visible that will ultimately attract employers.
So here are our tips to maximising your professional social network profile
- Visibility - create a fulsome profile to explain who you are and what you have done. Link to evidence of work you've done in the past. Make sure you've added a professional looking photo.
- Connectivity - each time you meet someone in your professional life connect with them and maintain contact. This could be at events, seminars, friends in the industry etc.
- Activity - post interesting industry news with your network to show you are keen and stay up-to-date with what is going on. Adding commentary and insight adds value.
- Proactivity - when approaching a company use the network to research who works there, what they say about themselves and the company.
- Flexibility - Set-up job alerts based on what you are looking for to keep you informed about what's happening and potentially update your status message to say that you are in the market for jobs.
Finally, remember that there is no single magic bullet in social media. LinkedIn and Viadeo both allow connections to services like Twitter. Building bridges between the different social media services you use will only amplify your profile.
The social media age means we can as individuals become brands - with our own online presence which reflect the best of who we are and what we do.
Jeff Bullas, the blogger behind the JeffBullas.com site about web marketing and utilising internet mediums in social media, has written a great post about the top 15 social media marketing challenges and frustrations that people experience. Jeff began by noting that social media marketing is now a powerful new tool for use in marketing communications plans. However, he then noted that there is still plenty of learning plus trial and error still occurring among agencies, companies, consultants and marketing professionals as they determine how to best use the major social media platforms like blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.
Hence, here are Jeff’s 15 social media marketing challenges and frustrations that he has so far come across:
- Turning followers into customers.
- How to make money using social media marketing.
- Getting followers or friends on Twitter or Facebook.
- Getting subscribers to your blog.
- Getting traffic to your website, blog or Facebook page.
- Creating good quality online videos.
- How to create the best type of Facebook page or set up a blog.
- Choosing the right social media channels to use.
- How best to use and optimize the social media platforms such as LinkedIn and YouTube.
- How to use social media marketing to get great PR for my company.
- Creating postive noise and Buzz about your brand on social media.
- Managing your time and productivity.
- Creating content.
- Finding high quality social media marketing training and resources.
- Coming up with creative ideas for your social media marketing campaigns.
Jeff then asked for readers to post any additional challenges and frustrations that they have experienced in their attempts to use social media marketing. Hence, we would also love to hear about yours.
I need a new laptop soon, but i don't use Windows, can i purchase a 'naked' laptop. Or one with Linux pre-installed?
HP recommends Microsoft Windows 7 and it comes pre-installed on most HP Notebooks. We don't sell 'naked' PCs, meaning PCs without any pre-installed operating system. However, you can buy some models with SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, such as the new HP Mini 5103. However, it is pretty easy to install a Linux distribution, such as Ubuntu, in a dual-boot configuration, so that you have the option of choosing between Windows and Linux each time you boot up. In addition, many HP Notebooks come with HP QuickWeb, which is a stripped-down Linux-based operating system that lets you get online in seconds without booting your regular operating system.
Here at Articulate Marketing, we installed a new server in January. It was (of course), a high-end HP ProLiant ML350 G6 running Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008. Including two days of consulting and set up (from the smart cookies at EJC.IT), it cost more than £4,000.
There are cheaper HP servers, naturally, but we had experienced hardware failures before – mainly disk drives and power supply units – and we couldn’t afford to take a risk on a vital system. So we bought a very robust system that had RAID hard disks and multiple power supplies plus battery backup so that it was able to fail operational even in the event of a serious hardware problem.
It’s a very powerful, resilient, flexible system that does a lot for the business:
- Email server for the company
- iPhone access to email, contacts and diaries
- 1.5 TB of super-fast file storage
- Protected against hardware failure and power cuts
- Remote access to email and desktop PCs
- Shared printing and faxing
- Automatic backup
- Company intranet
It will support the company’s growth for three or four years to come. Until recently, if you wanted these benefits, getting a server like this was your only option.
Now, however, there are other ways to do a lot of these things. You can use an online service like Microsoft Online Services to provide online email and intranet hosting and online backup solutions like Mozy. Rather than paying up front, you rent these services and pay as you go. They don’t require any onsite hardware but you will still want some technical support getting them set up properly unless you are very geeky.
HP Data Vault
Hosted services still leave the file storage piece of the puzzle unsolved. This is where the new HP X311 Data Vault comes in. Starting at just £329, it provides one terabyte of storage – that’s more than 1,000 gigabytes and ample storage for almost all small businesses. You can add more if you need it, both in the box and externally using USB and eSATA connectors.
You just plug it into your network and run some simple setup software. It lets you share data via a simple web address and automatically backup up to 10 PC and Mac computers. Managing the system is easy, thanks to Microsoft Windows Home Server software.
For startups and smaller businesses, HP’s Data Vault is a great way to get many the benefits of a central file server for a fraction of the price.
Bing is Microsoft's web search engine. Steve Clayton, Microsoft's 'Geek in Disguise', recommends Discover Bing as a way to find out some of its cool tricks and capabilities. The site claims to reach 30 million UK users and it's worth checking it's advice for businesses - get yourself found on Bing.
- Simon Thomas Pirie a furniture maker for private and corporate clients usually using English hardwoods, his work is a blend of contemporary form and classic elegance, combined with high quality craftsmanship.
- The Naked Entrepreneur is Craig Dearden-Phillips’ ‘no holds barred account of life from the outside-track of the UKs third sector’
- Ozzy - the blog of an entrepreneur ,the blog of Richard Osborne, an Entrepreneur and the company director of Quick Formations - an award winning company registration tool.
- The English Cut, the blog of Savile row tailor Thomas Mahon. Thomas has over 20 years’ experience of hand tailoring in Savile Row, and his clients have included Prince Charles and Bryan ferry.
- SuperJam , the blog of Fraser Doherty - The Edinburgh schoolboy entrepreneur who at 16 started selling SuperJam, which became an overnight supermarket sensation.
- The Tinbasher is the award-winning company blog of Butler Sheetmetal Ltd UK, a small fabrication shop in the darkest recesses of North West England.
- Natasha Bailie Vintage Clothing Company has been showcased in Vogue magazine and specialise in women's vintage style. Natasha hand picks and sources vintage women's clothing from across the world.
- Mark Pentleton , the director of Radio Lingua Ltd, an educational media company producing award-winning language courses by podcast. Mark also runs Radio Lingua Schools, the educational branch of the company which offers content and workshops for schools.