Author Archive

Social Bookmarking Sites For Social Media Marketing

Oct 3rd, 2009No Comments

You have a voice. You wield influence. Your voice reaches out to millions of others on the internet to give your approval, or disapproval. You tell us what has the value, what speaks to the tribe, and the tribe follows. That’s the value of bookmarking.

Social Bookmarking is now an integral part of any major social media marketing campaign. They are communities of influence, filtering through massive amounts of internet information; voting sites up or down, cataloging them with folksonomy, and allowing individuals to create their own “internet rolodex”. The community benefits by connecting to high value content. Ultimately if your site is bookmarked you can benefit by large amounts of traffic, higher page rank, and community support.

In order to benefit from Social Bookmarking, I would recommend using the following sites. Make note of the culture and values of each community regarding things like story submission, friending, and tagging. You can lose points in a community just as fast as you can win them.

Technorati- Save Your Online Content as “Favorite”

Users of Technorati have the option to save their online content and favorite links on the site so that other users can access them. The option “Technorati Favorite” allows you add the URLs of your own website or other URLs that you want to share with other Technorati users. Any visitor to your website can add your site to their Technorati bookmarks by clicking on the button.

StumbleUpon- Stumbling with What You Like or Dislike

‘Stumble’ your favorite link is the concept associated with bookmarking on StumbleUpon. With simple installation of StumbleUpon toolbar, you enable sharing of your favorite links with others on StumbleUpon. By clicking on the Thumbs Up button on the StumbleUpon toolbar and adding categories and quick tags to the site, you allow other Stumblers find the links that you want to share. While stumbling across the web, you can also narrow down your search by selecting categories or topics. The most functional part of using StumbleUpon is connecting with web searchers who have found useful sites and shared them with other users.

Reddit – Paint The Web Reddit

Reddit has its features and functions similar to del.icio.us. It allows the users to share links, content and quote for the links submitted by other users. The most popular post can find a place on the front page of the website. SubReddit, the subnetwork of Reddit helps you find the most appropriate category for your links.

Del.icio.us- Defining Social Bookmarking

Deli.icio.us has set a standard among the social bookmarking sites for its easy-to-use and functional features. It has been an excellent tool for people who are into research and data mining. As one of the oldest, densely populated sites with the most content of many social bookmarking sites, del.icio.us has a strong community. You need to install a standard button onto your web browser to bookmark your favorite links. Unlike the bookmarking process of other social bookmarking sites where you get a pop up window to enter info about the site, del.icio.us takes you to that particular site to provide information and again comes back to the original site.

Digg- All You Need is to Digg

Allowing anyone to summit a Digg, Digg is combination of RSS, blogging and social bookmarking. The site is popular for as a technology news website. Users can share their views on any Digg and submit stories and review. In fact, the Digg community is open about comments on stories and sites. The website is caters to technology related items.

Mixx- Connecting to the World Broad Web Content

User generated content being the most striking feature of Mixx, the site offers a wide range of bookmarkable content for the Mixxers. The social bookmarking site has simplified the process of submitting stories, photographs and videos for the users who can pick from a wide array of categories to post their content. You can also use features like tags, classes and exact users to increase the searchability of your content. Mixx users can find their required content and bookmark it by picking a category.

Propeller- Simplifying Social Bookmarking

Mostly, Propeller works as other social networking site like Digg or Del.icio.us. Users submit their stories, or find them, comment on other stories or vote for them. The most popular of the stories goes to the top. You need to register with the site if you want to join the propeller community. Otherwise, reading the submitted stories on the site doesn’t need any registration. Sharing your stories with the community can help them know your views on a particular topic. Also, you can access the valuable posts shared by other researchers. The most remarkable part is that Propeller is convenient even for the non-techie web users.

Y!buzz- Creating a New Buzz with Social Bookmarking

Like any other social bookmarking site, Yahoo!buzz has created a buzz among the users for social bookmarking through user interface. Apart from quality content, and better editorial control, the site is popular among its audience for its different user-friendly option like e-mailing favorite news and stories to friends. You can buzz your stories and share them on other popular social networking sites. The news that is hot among the audience gets high rank. Submitting to Yahoo!Buzz also has another great advantage. You can have the headline of your stories displayed on the Homepage of Yahoo.

Fark – Ethical Networking

Fark is a kind of social bookmarking site that accepts posts submitted by only regular users. The site can be found as a massive compilation of articles and news. TotalFark subscribers can submit their favorite links to share them with other users of the site. Links are evaluated by the administrator and the best stories get a place in the Fark homepage.

If you have any other suggestions, please comment below.

Month 1 Conference Call

Oct 1st, 2009No Comments

Here is the conference call from our first month.

WordPress Plugins: 11 recommendations for blog start ups

Aug 27th, 20095 Comments

I am consistently asked which plug-ins I use on my blog and those that I would recommend for a someone just starting up a blog. There are many WordPress Plugins created to add all kinds of functionality to your blog. There are plug-ins for video, podcasting, twitter syndication, and polling. You can install plug-ins for adsense, to process Paypal payments, manage subdomains, and translators so that you can be misunderstood in over 30 languages. (kidding!)

Here’s a list of a few basic ones that add a great deal of benefits and create a great foundation of plug-ins to build on for any blog.

All in One SEO Pack

Now, you can use your WordPress blog for your SEO campaign. The free plugin “All in SEO pack” is designed for SEO with the help of WordPress blogs as it readily optimizes your blog. It automatically generates Meta Tags allowing your blog to get necessary exposure in search engines. While using the plugin, you can find the option to optimize your title and set Meta Description and Meta Keywords for your blog.

Sociable

Many social networking sites allow their users to save and share interesting online blog posts. The Sociable plugin of WordPress adds your blog links to your favorite social bookmarking sites. WordPress allows you to select from 99 different sites and add them to your blogs. The plugin works only on the recent versions of WordPress ie 2.6 or the later versions. The best part of using the plugin is you can distribute your blog posts among your readers on those sites and boost your niche audience.

WP Super Cache

This is a useful WordPress plugin to generate static HTML files from your WordPress blog which is served faster by the web server. Your web server won’t have to process heavier PHP scripts if you use this plugin. The plugin also enables 99% of your visitors to visit static HTML files. The plugin supports multiple storage back-ends such as Disk, eAccelerator, Memcached, APC, XCache. It doesn’t require any admin setting.

Contact Form 7

It is a contact form plugin of WordPress that supports multiple contacts. With the help of this plugin you can customize email content and the contact form flexibly. The plugin also supports CAPTCHA and AJAX powered submitting. You can activate this plugin for your blog from the ‘Plugins’ menu of the WordPress. The particular plugin has been translated into number of languages.

Google XML Sitemaps

The plugin automatically generates XML sitemap for the WordPress blog that is compliance with Google Sitemap. The feature is available with all versions of WordPress and it doesn’t require any PHP skill or file changes. The plugin also generates a zipped version of the file along with the static XML file. It supports all WordPress Generated and customized pages. The sitemap is automatically updated every time you update your existing blog or create new post. The major search engines are also notified about the updates.

FD Feedburner Plugin

The FD Feedburner redirects the main feed and the comments to feedburner.com. The feeds of your blog easily become the feed of the feedburner for all users.  It simply requires informing the plugin about the Feedburner feed URL. The plugin is available with WordPress 2.0 o higher versions of WordPress. It is also compatible with all webservers. It doesn’t require setting up new hidden feeds, modify templates, or .htaccess files.

WP-SpamFree

This powerful plugin is designed with spam filtering features and can check blog comment spam, pingback and trackback spam. The spam-free plugin automatically blocks the spam and displays the statistics of blocked spam on your dashboard. It uses cookies and dynamic combo of JavaScript and can prevent more that 99% of the spam. The plugin helps to keep your database less crowded.  It works like a “Firewall” and works in WordPress menu as well.

Akismet

Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen. Personally, I can’t live without this one.

Google Analyticator

The plugin appends the tracking support of Google Analytics to your WordPress blogs. Google Analyticator is a customizable widget that eliminates the need of editing of you blog templates. The plugin includes other widgets that help to view visitors’ data generated by Analytics.  The blogger has complete control over the options and can enable and disable any of the option as per the requirements. Just install this plugin and track your visitors’ behavior in real time.

SEO Smart Links

The plugin has SEO benefits as it automatically links the keyword of your blog with corresponding posts, tags, categories. It allows you to select your keyword and phrases, and set up the matching URLs. You can also set the nofollow attributes and option to open the links in another window. The options can be edited from the administration setting panel. You can enhance internal linking of your site with the use of this plugin. It also allows you to control external links. So, you got your smart link builder for free, huh!

Broken Link Checker

The plugin monitors the links on your blog posts, pages, custom fields, and indicates if there is any. It detects the broken links and missing images, and notify on your dashboard. If you enable the option it can display the anchor texts differently on the post. A very useful WP plugin, it can save help you help you trace all broken links and fix them early enough.

Do you have a favorite?Is there are must have plug-in that I left off the list?

4 Top SEO Programs for Social Media Marketers

Aug 17th, 200913 Comments

I was just listening to Susan Bratton interview Bruce Clay on Dishy Mix. It was a great interview and reminded me that most people dive into social media without understanding how much it is influenced by SEO. Any and all media, whether or not it is fed to a community on a social networking platform, must be able to be found and relevant. Obviously, the keywords in the title of any content will let folks know if it’s relevant to them or not, just for starters. The success of your social media content in creating traffic for your site is directly proportional to how much you understand SEO.

Social media marketing campaigns created and implemented without the use of top notch SEO, will under perform. So I pulled together a short list of on the ground SEO training that would benefit any Social Media Marketer.

#1: BruceClay Inc

BruceClay Inc is the undisputed leader in the SEO realm when it comes to imparting quality SEO coaching and online marketing programs. Led by Bruce Clay – the Web Marketing Tzar – BruceClay Inc is perhaps the best place for every serious webmaster looking for SEO coaching of impeccable quality. Known as SEOToolSet®, the SEO training package offered by BruceClay Inc is perhaps the most updated which exists since 1997. Scores of SEO consultants and Search Engine Marketing firms have benefited from this superlative SEO program and Certification Training which are based on time-tested search engine optimization methods.

How Much Does It Cost?

Quality comes with a price tag – the training cost for SEOToolSet® can cost you anything between 1795 USD to 1195 USD depending on the type of course you want to choose (please visit the website for details on the program), but the training empowers you with invaluable SEO expertise which will help you online business.

#2: Tampa SEO Training Academy

Officiated by Starship Computer Services of Florida, the Tampa SEO Training Academy offers customized SEO workshops for its clients. This institute stands head and shoulders above anything else in the region, with its expertise in SEO techniques. Headed by the industry veteran, Steven Scott, who has a proud association with training Fortune 1000 companies, this institution keeps pace with the brisk changes in the SEO world. Since its inception in 1998, the Tampa SEO Training Academy has found success in optimizing several new and old, but dwindling sites.

How Much Does It Cost?

Classes Conducted                                         Course fee

5 day Mastery SEO Workshop                       $2095.00

3 day Advanced SEO Workshop                    $1595.00

2 days Beginners SEO Workshop                  $1095.00

#3: Search Engines Workshop

Conducted by the world famous trio of Robin Nobles, John Alexander and Michael Marshall, these workshops are conducted throughout the USA and Canada. A special SEO mentoring program (6 month duration) is also carried out on a daily one hour basis, after completion of the workshop. And there are no extra charges for this special mentoring. Individual business owners, search engine marketing professionals including Webmasters and affiliate marketers can make the most of these opportunities. Participants are encouraged to bring along their own computers for better use of the skills.

How Much Does It Cost?

Classes Conducted                                                     Course fee

5-day Complete SEO Mastery Workshop                 $1,795.00

3-day Advanced SEO Workshop                               $1,195.00

2-day Basic Essentials SEO Workshop                     $895.00

#4: Search Engine Academy

Owned by Tracy Fredrychowski, the Search Engine Academy endeavors to provide SEO training to people throughout the USA, Canada and the UK. Majority of the classes are however, conducted in South Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia. Having been a former student of Robin Nobles and John Alexander, she is well versed in the latest SEO strategies. Her presentation skills receive accolades from her students. Special events in the calendar include a webinar at the Workshop Resource Center, TBA.

How Much Does It Cost?

The current price of the SEO program is not on the website. Fill in the contact form on the website for more details.

A Final Word…

I gain nothing from recomending these programs and I am not affiliated in any way. Also, this list is not exhaustive. I am sure there are other really valuable programs out there. I would like to hear about your thoughts on above the SEO programs. Also, feel free to respond with any other SEO training programs you might have joined in the past.

Book Marketing Using Social Media: An interview with Author Brian Moreland

Aug 15th, 20091 Comment

Award Winning Horror Author Brain Moreland tells how he made his book an overnight success using social media.

A few highlights:

He started with a self published book and gained such a wide audience using social media, that a publisher picked up his book. He now has a mass paperback deal.

His book won a gold medal. Learn what specific steps he took to ensure that his book would be considered.

He shares his tips for authors who are also using social media for book marketing.

The Best Online Affordable Courses on Search Engine Optimization

Aug 12th, 20097 Comments

Here is a short list of websites that offer online SEO programs accessible from anywhere in the world. Please note that I am not affiliated with these programs and do not gain anything from recommending them.

#1: SEOBook.com

A forerunner in teaching SEO, SEOBook.com specializes in providing modules (approximately 100) including both video and written training materials. By subscribing you get a copy of a newsletter every month which keeps you on the cutting edge of the new techniques. You also get access to the most noteworthy SEO tools in the business. These include the Duplicate content checker, the website health check, hub finder, local rank, competitive research tool, etc. You get to stay in touch with the fast progressing SEO community and share a pool of knowledge.

The moment you subscribe to learn SEO at this site, you will be provided with an e-book which is a comprehensive reference on SEO.

What’s The Damage?

There is a monthly subscription of $100 when you agree to sign up at the site. The payment transactions are carried out through Paypal with an agreement to end the deal whenever the user feels like.

#2: HWG.org

The HTML Writers Guild or HWG can be your cost-effective option, if you’re looking at learning SEO at affordable fees. The website imparts a wide range of online training courses including search engine optimization. Incorporated since 1994, HWG has over 150,000 members from 160 countries and deliver virtually every conceivable web training program online. Online SEO training program offered by this website spans across 6 weeks in easy step-by-step methods. To make sure the learners get the best from their courses, the website has two experienced course instructors: Cindy McMahen, the chief instructor and Karyn Zoldan, the co-instructor. Cindy McMahen has enviable track records in teaching Website Promotion and Search Engine Optimization programs since 1997.

The website also offers membership subscriptions so that learners can take advantage of their courses at reduced prices. While non-members can sign up for the course at standard prices, members can get the courses at special discounted prices.

What’s The Damage?

Considering the course contents, HWG.org offers perhaps one of the most irresistible online SEO training packages online. Currently, the online SEO course by HWG is offered at 250 USD for non-members and only 150 USD for members. You can log on to the website to find more details on the package.

#3: Expertrating.com

After having established itself in 60 countries in over 200 skill areas, this website needs no introduction. This online SEO training center has already churned out more than 200,000 certified professionals who are now successful businessmen in their own right. With the course structure being defined by experts in SEO, you will have the option of gaining knowledge from the best in the business. Extremely relevant scenarios and case studies are included in the course. Any questions are resolved by the experienced instructor named Robert Viers.

After completing the 6 week course and getting the certification, you can appear for an exam within the next 2 months. The course can be downloaded easily and assignments and quizzes are conducted to enable deeper understanding of SEO. The courses commence every month of the year.

What’s The Damage?

Charging a nominal $99.99 for the certificate, this site is a good one to invest your money in.

So many options to choose from…

This is just a short list and has been prepared based on the performance of the websites offering online SEO courses, their page ranks, the affordability, expert instructors and the ability to download of course materials. Since new and more advanced websites keep coming up on a regular basis, it pays to join many popular SEO forums (Warrior Forum, DigitalPoint, SEOChat et al) and ask people around for their experience with any online SEO courses.

Feel free to post your choices or comments and share your thoughts on this.

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